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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy will need to overcome the hurdles of voters’ perceptions at the second Republican presidential debate on Wednesday evening.
A new DailyMail.com/J.L. Partners survey found voters mostly use the word ‘unknown’ when asked what they think about Ramaswamy, 38.
When asked what they felt about DeSantis, ‘fascist’ was the word most used to describe him by both Democrats and likely voters.
Meanwhile, Republican respondents used positive words like ‘leader,’ ‘smart’ and ‘strong’ to describe the 45-year-old father of three.
Still, some of the more popular words used by Republicans were ‘unknown’ and ‘establishment.’
DeSantis needs a star performance if he wants to return to second place in the polls, after slipping to fifth in some states.
Ramaswamy is looking to capitalize on his show-stealing first debate performance that cemented his victory in DailyMail.com’s poll.
Along with DeSantis and Ramaswamy, the five other candidates that qualified for the second debate stage are former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott; former Vice President Mike Pence; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (right) and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (left) need a breakthrough moment at the second debate Wednesday evening to change voter perception. A DailyMail.com poll shows that of all voters surveyed, most call DeSantis a ‘fascist’ and Ramaswamy ‘unknown’
Most likely voters describe Ron DeSantis with the word ‘fascist,’ others call him a ‘leader’ and others say he’s ‘racist’ or ‘unknown’
Julian Gallie, Research Associate at J.L. Partners, told DailyMail.com: ‘Going into the next debate DeSantis needs to stand out – and one way he can do this is capitalize on what voters see as his biggest strengths, namely his record as Governor of Florida and that he is the best-placed candidate to take on Biden at the election.
‘But above all he needs to get noticed – both by differentiating himself as the obvious choice against Trump, and as the most conservative person on the stage who can also get things done.
‘Despite winning the last DailyMail.com post-debate poll, Vivek Ramaswamy has struggled to capitalize on his performance.
‘The word most associated with Vivek is unknown, though the more Republican voters see of him the more they like him.
‘Ramaswamy will do well if he showcases his talents and his conservatism. But fundamentally he may struggle in a race with Trump so dominant – his best bet might be if the former president drops out.’
The DailyMail.com poll conducted by J.L. Partners included surveying 1,000 likely voters between September 15 through 20.
When asked about the current leaders in the White House, who are running for reelection in 2024, most respondents described Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘incompetent’ and ‘unqualified.’ Democrats think she is ‘smart.’
Meanwhile, 40 percent of voters say she is the worst vice president in modern history.
When Joe Biden is put in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up with Trump, the ex-President wins by just 1 percent with 45 percent to the current President’s 44 percent.
DeSantis is also shown beating out Biden by the same margins with 44 percent to 43 percent.
Meanwhile, most of the likely 2024 voters described political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy as ‘unknown’ despite his star performance at the first debate last month
Some Republican voters viewed DeSantis more favorably by calling him a ‘leader’ and ‘smart’, while others were less kind
The results are a change from the survey taken in June that showed both Trump and DeSantis narrowly behind Biden in hypothetical general election match-ups.
Ramaswamy, however, would lose against Biden – 41 percent to 38 percent – in a 2024 head-to-head, according to the poll.
While DeSantis garnered widespread name recognition due to his leadership in Florida through the COVID-19 pandemic, Ramaswamy is a complete political newcomer in this election.
Seven Republican contenders are descending on southern California this week for the second GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The debate is being hosted by Fox Business and Univision and moderated by Fox News anchor Dana Perino, Fox Business host Stuart Varney and Univison’s Ilia Calderon.
Trump is again refusing to participate.
Instead, the former president and GOP frontrunner will attempt to steal the spotlight by delivering remarks at an event in Detroit, Michigan where automobile industry workers are expected to attend as United Automobile Workers (UAW) union negotiations are ongoing.
Biden visited Detroit on Tuesday and is making a west coast fundraising swing this week – both likely in response to Trump’s visit and the Republican debate.