Speaking Time Totals for First GOP Debate Are In – They Don’t Line Up with the Polling Averages

The candidate speaking times are in for Wednesday’s first 2024 Republican primary debate, and there is a discrepancy as it relates to polling and how long each of the presidential hopefuls spoke. Eight candidates attended the event in Milwaukee hosted by Fox News. Former President Donald Trump decided to skip the debate, but there were still plenty of fireworks among those who did attend. Perhaps that could explain why some candidates with low polling numbers stole the show in some ways. Former Vice President Mike Pence had the most speaking time at 12 minutes and 26 seconds, according to CNN. According to the current Real Clear Politics average, Pence is polling at just 4 percent in the GOP race, which is good enough for fourth place. Vivek Ramaswamy, meanwhile, had the second-most time at the microphone. The entrepreneur and the former vice president sparred numerous times throughout the night, which offered both more exposure to potential voters. Ramaswamy, who spoke for 11 minutes and 38 seconds, sits in third place in the RCP average at 7.2 percent. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in third in speaking time despite ranking seventh in the polls at 3.0 percent. Christie spoke for 11 minutes and 37 seconds — just one second less than Ramaswamy. Meanwhile, the polling leader on the debate stage, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, spoke for 10 minutes and one second, putting him in fourth place. The governor sits at 14.3 percent in the RCP average, second only to Trump.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson came in at fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in speaking time. Hutchinson and Burgum are both polling at less than 1 percent in the RCP average. Haley and Scott are at 3.2 and 3.1 percent, respectively. Trump sat down for a 46-minute interview with Tucker Carlson that was posted on X, which was formerly known as Twitter, as the debate kicked off. As of Thursday morning, that video had more than 190 million impressions on the platform and more than 50,000 comments. Ratings for the debate were not yet in. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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