On the November 15 episode of “The Ingraham Angle,” host Laura Ingraham proposed a debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 16, 2023
Ingraham even volunteered her show on Fox News as the platform on which the debate could be aired. She floated the idea of a one-on-one debate between DeSantis and Haley as they are the two frontrunners to take on former President Donald Trump in what so far is a one-sided runup to the primary, with Trump dominating the Republican field for the nomination.
In the most recent GOP primary debate on November 8, five candidates debated topics ranging from Donald Trump to the war in Israel. Of those five candidates, DeSantis and Haley seem to be positioning themselves as the anti-Trump contenders.
DeSantis, who just won re-election as Florida’s governor in a landslide victory over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, accepted the debate invitation almost immediately. Haley has been gaining ground against DeSantis since the primary debates began and he needs something to stop her momentum.
Count me in! https://t.co/B9s5fpiuJL
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 15, 2023
DeSantis has never been shy to debate. He has been viewed by many Republicans as Trump’s primary competition for the GOP presidential nomination since election season began — though, he has not proven to be a significant threat in any of the polling that’s been done. He is even scheduled to debate Gov. Gavin Newsome (D-CA) later in November with Sean Hannity as the moderator.
This trend of Fox News pundits inviting DeSantis to special debates is an interesting one to note.
Haley has risen in the polls quickly over the past few months. In many instances, Haley has even replaced DeSantis as the main competitor for Trump. A recent CNN poll shows that Haley is polling at 20% in New Hampshire compared to just 9% for DeSantis.
Haley’s ascension led Laura Ingraham to say that Haley has won over the hearts and minds of the media, becoming their favorite Republican. A one-on-one debate with DeSantis could either solidify that position or turn the momentum — whatever momentum either actually has — back over to the DeSantis camp.
Ingraham’s real reason for wanting to see Haley and DeSantis debate is that it is the only way to hear from establishment choices for Trump’s alternative without the distractions of other candidates.
Current polling shows Trump as many as 40 points ahead of any other Republican nominee.