A polling operation affiliated with Gov. Ron DeSantis is proclaiming victory for the Florida Governor after last week’s GOP presidential debate — at least as far as Iowa Republicans are concerned.
The survey of 400 Hawkeye State Republicans from the Citizen Awareness Project, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on Sept. 28 and 29, shows that “Iowa caucus-goers, especially those who watched, say Ron DeSantis won this week’s GOP debate.”
While 25% of all respondents say the Governor won, that number jumps to 40% when just people who actually watched the debate are compelled to respond. That 40% nearly doubles Nikki Haley’s 21% and is more than double the 15% who believe Vivek Ramaswamy won.
DeSantis, per the polling memo, is viewed as the “strongest on border security” and “best able to defeat Donald Trump” by more than 40% of likely caucus goers.
The memo also postulates that DeSantis was +12 in image improvement, as compared to Ramaswamy, Mike Pence and the absent Donald Trump, who saw attrition; they are -9, -12, and -14, respectively, compared to the previous poll.
The new internal poll is the latest piece of news from Iowa suggesting that the Governor still has a path in the state. A CBS News survey released last week showed DeSantis above 20% in the state, though 30 points behind Trump.
DeSantis’ campaign has depicted its Iowa effort as a “drive toward victory.” The DeSantis team’s confidence that Iowa is a “two-man race” is rooted in Trump’s Make America Great Again super PAC spending again against the Governor in Iowa, after taking a break from expenditures during the summer.
“Trump has shot himself in the foot in Iowa and opened the door, and Ron DeSantis is about to kick it down. The hard work the Governor is putting in now to complete the ‘Full Grassley’ is going to pay dividends in the long-run and allow us to drive toward victory,” wrote spokesman Andrew Romeo last week.