DeSantis and Haley Emerge as Victors in GOP Debate

The third Republican Party presidential debate took place last Wednesday, and the night’s winners, based on political bettors’ wagers, were former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The debate featured confrontational exchanges between Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who founded Roivant, a tech firm focused on health care.

Ramaswamy called Haley “Cheney in three-inch heels,” in reference to her foreign policy views aligning with former Vice President Dick Cheney. Tensions escalated further when Ramaswamy suggested Haley was a hypocrite for supporting a TikTok ban while her 25-year-old daughter used the app that’s been viewed as a potential spy mechanism for China.

The post-debate conversation was focused on the Haley-Ramaswamy feud, with political pundits calling it the most substantive of the three GOP debates this primary season. Much of the evening was centered on foreign policy, which showcased Haley’s strengths, and paired with a strong answer on abortion, many observers deemed her one of the night’s best performers.

Political bettors on the PredictIt exchange saw an increase in Haley’s shares on the market following the debate, climbing two pennies to 15 cents, while DeSantis’ stock also climbed a penny to 11 cents. Ramaswamy’s shares remained unchanged at a nickel. Former President Donald Trump, who has refused to participate in the debates, remains the betting front-runner for the GOP ticket, with his PredictIt shares trading at 71 cents.

DeSantis suggested during a post-debate interview that the numerous charges Trump is facing are likely helping his campaign because he’s back in the news, explaining that the recent indictment has helped rile up Trump’s base. However, DeSantis believes he’s the best option for the 75% of Republican voters who would be willing to move on from the former president.