President Donald Trump emerged Wednesday night as the victor of the second GOP presidential debate, marking the second time this year that the president has upstaged the Republican event without stepping foot in the building.
Instead of participating in the debate, President Trump chose to deliver a forward-thinking vision of American economic and manufacturing policy in Clinton Township, Michigan, where he spoke to striking United Auto Workers.
On Thursday morning, a post-debate poll posted by Fox News host Jesse Watters on X demonstrated that among just over 63,000 participants in the social media poll, 66.7 percent so far thought Trump had won the debate on Wednesday.
As low-polling Republican candidates like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R) bickered and argued onstage, Trump was greeted by thousands of eager supporters in Michigan who shouted “WE LOVE TRUMP” as his motorcade passed by.
Even far-left California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) told reporters in California before the debate, “I think it will be clear that Trump comes out the dominant force of this debate. I mean, this is the XFL, this is JV…I mean, this is maybe, MAYBE, a vice presidential debate at best. These guys are getting lapped by Donald Trump. It’s not even close. It’s not even interesting. And I think, what’s most interesting to me is, do THEY recognize that?”
It remains unclear if any of the Republican candidates onstage on Wednesday night recognized Trump’s overwhelming dominance. A recent poll from Monmouth, for example, showed President Trump winning the GOP 2024 primary with 55 percent of the vote. DeSantis is a distant runner-up with 17 percent of the vote, losing five points since July in the polls.
No other candidates moved beyond single digits in their survey.
In August, President Trump upstaged the Republican presidential debate by releasing a sit-down interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on X at the same time that the debate aired on television. To date, Trump’s interview with Carlson has more than 266 million views online.