A new GOP presidential poll shows a startling rise in biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, as he is now dead even with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for second place.
The news is quite surprising, perhaps more for the DeSantis campaign than anyone else.
A survey by Kaplan Strategies shows DeSantis and Ramaswamy tied at 12% each while both men remain well behind Donald Trump’s 48%.
“Ramaswamy outscored six other hopefuls by more than double, marking a significant upset in this poll,” said Doug Kaplan, founder of the data collection firm.
Kaplan also notes that while DeSantis has a solid favor mark among GOP voters at 59%, Ramaswamy is considered to have a much higher ceiling due to a lack of name recognition.
After Trump, Ramaswamy and DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence each sit with 5%.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has 3%, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has 1% and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum got himself a big goose egg.
— Human Events (@HumanEvents) July 20, 2023
RELATED: Vivek Ramaswamy asks Republican candidates to sign his pledge to pardon Donald Trump
Trump mocks DeSantis for poll showing Ramaswamy on the rise
Leading GOP contender Trump took to his Truth social media platform and snagged DeSantis on the news, also snapping another shot of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s weight.
“Vivek Ramaswamy now beats DeSanctimonious,” he said in reference to the new poll. “Christie died like his stomach.”
“‘Aida’ Hutchinson a solid minus 1%,” Trump joked. “I’m 44 points ahead!!! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
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Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams hailed Ramaswamy’s campaign as the best yet from either side of the aisle.
“(Ramaswamy) has the best campaign on either side so far, no baggage, clear policies, charisma, and he’s the smartest player on the pitch,” Adams tweeted. “He’s one debate away from directing DeSantis.”
@VivekGRAmaswamy has the best campaign on either side so far, no baggage, clear policies, charisma, and he’s the smartest player on the pitch. He is one debate away from directing DeSantis. https://t.co/yaY2Ifr68x
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) July 21, 2023
DeSantis would have been well-advised to wait to pursue the presidency until 2028. His popularity would only have continued to rise as governor of the Sunshine State for only another four years, and he would have virtually rubbed shoulders with the nomination.
Instead, he’s battling someone 27% of whom in this latest poll say they don’t know enough, all for the bragging rights of finishing second.
— Kevin Landrigan (@KlandriganUL) July 20, 2023
RELATED: DeSantis Makes Controversial Remarks About Trump’s Actions on Jan. 6 – ‘He Should Have Come Out Louder’
Why is he doing so well?
Clearly, the more people see Ramaswamy, the higher his polls go. But what is there concretely behind this increase?
It seems pretty clear that part of this rise on the pitch is due to Ramaswamy’s vocal defense of Trump amid obvious political persecution by the Biden administration.
So far, the only Republican presidential candidate to fully commit to obtaining Trump’s pardon if the current charges against him become convictions was Ramaswamy.
In fact, Ramaswamy challenged every other presidential candidate to sign a pledge that they would right the wrong of a politicized Justice Department and pardon Trump.
JUST IN: Vivek Ramaswamy calls on Republican candidates to line up with Democrats against Donald Trump while promising to sue the Biden administration.
It’s great to see that not all Republican candidates align themselves with Washington’s uniparty.
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) June 13, 2023
“It is my pledge on January 20, 2025, if elected the next President of the United States, to pardon Donald J. Trump,” Ramaswamy announced. “I demanded that all other candidates in this race sign this pledge to forgive.”
DeSantis did not sign this pledge.
In fact, when news surfaced that Trump was the target of a Justice Department investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, DeSantis suggested the former president should have acted more forcefully that day.
DeSantis attacks Trump on January 6:
“I think he was shown how he was in the White House and didn’t do anything while things were unfolding. He should have come out with more force. pic.twitter.com/SErzEn8ib0
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 18, 2023
DeSantis did point out that the DOJ’s investigation into Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 appears to be a continuation of the Biden administration’s pursuit of his political opponents.
But his desire to have it both ways — critical and supportive — is what turns off Republican voters.
They know Trump is made an example, just like they know a large majority of J6 protesters made an example of it. All for the satisfaction of selfish President Joe Biden.
Ramaswamy draws from it.
Despite the number of polls, the buzz and the potential, Ramswamy has said he will not join the Trump ticket as vice president.
“I will serve this country in any way I can, but I will not be number two or a member of any administration,” he said. “I just don’t think that’s the right way for me to have the maximum positive impact on this country.”
Only time will tell if Ramaswamy will be able to sustain this momentum in the months to come.
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