Last Republican debate marks start of final race

Florida Governor DeSantis and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called each other “liars” and criticized each other’s actions and records in their respective public offices.

The last Republican debate marks the beginning of the new scenario that is coming, the beginning of voting in the political party primaries and the withdrawal of the next candidate, who could be the governor of Florida.

The analyst does not believe that DeSantis will reach the end of the race. “DeSantis may drop out next week, after Iowa, depending on how he does, and if not, it would be after New Hampshire, where he is in fourth place with 6%, according to the latest poll, behind Chris Christie”, who has already resigned.

Hours before the fifth and final debate Christie announced his withdrawal from the race, news that Verdugo estimates will benefit Haley.

“What we are going to see is that once Trump wins Iowa he will have momentum to compete in New Hampshire, and Haley, depending on how she does, will retire or prepare to campaign in South Carolina,” her home state. home.

Did they miss the opportunity?

DeSantis and Haley presented ideas on government programs, but they wasted the opportunity to take away ground from the favorite and great absentee, former President Trump.

In fact, DeSantis and Haley compete for second place and present themselves as the best alternative to Trump, but they are 40 points behind the former president, who did not attend and appeared in a Fox News public forum while the debate was taking place.

Trump enjoys an overwhelming advantage despite the multiple legal accusations against him, but he has refused to participate in the televised debates because he believes that he has nothing to gain from facing less popular rivals in prime time.

The face-to-face took place just a couple of days before the first and decisive nomination vote in Iowa on January 15, considered crucial to narrowing the field of candidates and giving those left standing a springboard for the rest of the the race to the White House.

Mutual attacks

DeSantis, a hardline conservative, set the tone from the beginning by calling Haley a “measured politician who only tells you what she thinks other people want to hear.”

He also attacked Trump. “She is running to defend her interests. Nikki Haley is running to defend the interests of her donors. I am running to pursue her problems and those of her family and to change this country,” said DeSantis, thus dusting off one of his favorite phrases from Campaign.

“He’s angry because his campaign is collapsing,” Haley reacted.

The former South Carolina governor lashed out at what she considers DeSantis’ “excessive campaign spending” and repeatedly directed viewers to a website dedicated to listing all of her opponent’s “lies.”

For his part, the governor of Florida urged the audience to visit his website, which, he indicated, collected “all the greatest hits” of Haley’s “false statements.”


Another blow was when DeSantis said Haley cares “more about the Ukraine border than our own southern border.” And she went further to tell him that he is “a copy” of Joe Biden by giving money to Ukraine.

The former UN ambassador counterattacked and assured that the support of the United States is important to prevent the ruler of Russia, Vladimir Putin, from attacking other countries.

Attacks are also present on social networks. Haley posted on X, old Twitter, “another day, another lie from Ron DeSantis. All the fact checkers have said that I never supported gender reassignment surgeries for minors. Has it ever occurred to Ron that voters can see through his lies?”, to which DeSantis responded: “Now that she’s being examined, Nikki Haley has this problem with ballistic podiatry: she shoots herself in the foot every two days.

Attacks on Trump

Neither Haley nor DeSantis directly responded to a question about whether Trump “has the character to be president.”

“Their way of doing things is not my way,” Haley said. “I’m not looking for revenge. I have no vendettas. “I don’t take things personally,” she said.

Separately, DeSantis said Trump failed to follow through on his promises to build a border wall and force Mexico to pay for it, and to take Hillary Clinton to court over alleged allegations of mishandling sensitive data during her tenure as secretary of state. .

And he added that Trump did not comply with “cleaning up the swamp” of Washington “or eliminating the national debt.”

“We need to deliver and get these things resolved,” DeSantis declared.

The issue of immigration was not absent in the last Republican debate. Florida’s governor said he will build the border wall that former President Trump “promised but failed to deliver.” And he added that Trump “deported fewer irregular immigrants than Obama.”

DeSantis said that, if elected president, he would not grant amnesty to the 13 million undocumented immigrants who, according to pro-immigrant groups, reside in the United States.

He added that, instead, he has a plan to send them to areas that he considers “friendly” to irregular immigration.

“We need to build the wall,” DeSantis said.

On the same topic, candidate Haley said that it is not just about building a wall on the border because, in her opinion, “the immigration problem requires addressing other aspects such as security and enforcement of the law.”

And he also said he was against “relief” for undocumented immigrants.

no one won

In the opinion of analyst Verdugo there was no winner: “I think neither of them won. There wasn’t the substance that people expected. “There was an intense fight for second place.”

“The reality is that, in the end, second place is not going to matter as much if the margin with first is wide,” he said.

“If Trump has an average of 51% and 52% ends up at 55 or 60%, it won’t matter if the other one received 20 or 25% because the difference will be too big and that boost will help him win in New Hampshire.” ”, he noted.

Then he added: “I do think Chris Christie’s retirement helps Haley. A poll already shows that, 65% of those who support Christie are going to support Haley.”

The analyst also noted that the race in New Hampshire “could become interesting because it would define whether Haley advances or not. But I don’t think the results will change,” which would indicate “that Trump would have a clear path to achieving the Republican nomination.”

Trump reaction

Trump did not miss the opportunity to express his opinion about his adversaries. He said DeSantis would be “working at a pizza place or maybe a law firm” without his help a couple of years ago.

Likewise, he also referred to Christie’s withdrawal from the Republican race, from whom he receives constant attacks.

He said he was not “particularly worried” about Christie’s departure and that he agrees with the former candidate’s comments that Haley “was going to get beat up” and “wasn’t up to the task.”

Trump, “all attention”

In recent months, the candidates have toured the state of Iowa, where the Republican primaries will begin on January 15, to talk about immigration, the economy or abortion.

But the polls predict a clear outcome. According to polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, Trump has a voting intention of 62.7%, while his two main rivals, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, obtain 11 and 10.9%, respectively.

On the national scene, Trump has more than 50 percentage points ahead.

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