(UnitedVoice.com) – The Republican primary race has been contentious, to say the least. Over the past few months, the candidates have taken potshots at each other and their perceived weaknesses. When the race first began, there were more than a dozen Republicans vying for the nomination. That number has since dwindled to five as of January 12. While former President Donald Trump is the forerunner to win, two of his closest competitors recently met at the GOP’s fifth debate, and it was a firestorm.
Haley vs. DeSantis
On Wednesday, January 10, the fifth Republican primary debate took place, hosted by CNN. The two-hour event was the last time the two would meet before the Iowa caucus, scheduled for January 15. The two immediately started attacking each other, and that seemed to be the theme for the rest of the night.
Haley brought the disaster that is DeSantis’s campaign struggles to the forefront, saying the Florida leader “has blown through $150 million” with “nothing to show for it.” She further dialed into his expenses, saying that more of his campaign funds were spent on private planes than on TV ads to draw in Iowa voters. Then she asked a hard-hitting question: “If you can’t manage a campaign, how are you going to manage a country?”
Haley also continuously cut off DeSantis during his remarks, earning her a rebuke from the moderators. DeSantis, for his part, said that Haley is beholden to her donors and called her a “mealy-mouthed politician.”
Neither one of them focused too much on the elephant in the room: Trump. Haley did point out that she believed his tenure in the White House equated to four years of “chaos” and that while she initially stood by him, she has since altered her stance. DeSantis said he believed Trump was being prosecuted unfairly, but there was a chance a conviction lay ahead.
Polls Favor Trump
In the overall Republican primary race, Trump has definitely emerged as the frontrunner despite his extensive legal woes and not appearing at any of the five debates. On the night of the CNN debate, the former president hosted a Fox News Town Hall.
Polls show that Trump has a commanding lead in Iowa. According to FiveThirtyEight, he’s holding strong at 51.3%. Haley has 17.3% of the vote and is ahead of DeSantis, who has 16.1%. Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson sit at the back, with 6.6% and 0.4%, respectively. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them drop off soon.
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