Ramaswamy’s 15 Minutes Have Begun. Can He Sustain It?

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

A new poll was published on Saturday by Emerson College showing what observers on the ground in early primary and caucus states have been saying for a couple of weeks. Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is surging as his presidential campaign begins to catch fire.

“Ramaswamy has improved among Republican voters with a postgraduate degree, a group that has previously been part of the DeSantis’ base,” Executive Director of Emerson College Polling Spencer Kimball said.

In New Hampshire, it’s Chris Christie whose surge caught Ron DeSantis in the granite state and is now in second place. Ramaswamy’s tie for second with DeSantis is in a national poll, showing the candidate’s growing strength nationwide.

“Ramaswamy has made inroads among younger Republican Primary voters: 16% of voters under 35 support Ramaswamy, compared to 48% who support Trump and 15% DeSantis. DeSantis still holds 12% of voters over 65, while Trump holds 50% among this group and Ramaswamy holds 3%.”

DeSantis is not unaware of Ramaswamy’s surge. He will go on the attack at the first Republican debate this Wednesday hoping to bring his opponent down a few notches by taking a “sledgehammer” to him. When his attack strategy leaked this past week, Ramaswamy slapped right back.

“Another boring, establishment attack from Super PAC-creation ‘Robot Ron’ who is literally taking lame, pre-programmed attack lines against me for next week’s debate. ‘Hammer Ramaswamy,’” Ramaswamy posted.

Ramaswamy’s “Ten Commandments of the 2024 Campaign” have started to capture some attention.

And Ramaswamy received the official seal of approval from the establishment when Time Magazine did a glowing profile of him this week.

The everywhere-all-at-once strategy, and the former biotech tycoon’s talent for presenting bomb-throwing anti-establishment sentiment in an affable package, has made him the closest thing the GOP primary has had to a breakout star. Since launching his campaign in February, Ramaswamy has been going nonstop: shaking hands in New Hampshire, rapping Eminem verses in Iowa, appearing on more than 70 podcasts and nearly every news program that will have him, and producing a stream of online content more voluminous than any of his competitors. Suddenly, Ramaswamy is running in second or third place in multiple national polls and often outperforming governors and a former vice president in the early states.

He calls his platform “America First 2.0,” and after his much-noted “Eminem-style” rap at the Iowa State Fair, he sat down with Gov. Kim Reynolds and listed a few of his primary goals as president.


Before demonstrating his musical abilities, Ramaswamy had sat down with Reynolds for a “fair-side chat”, where he said as president he would fire 75% of federal employees and abolish a raft of government agencies including the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – which handled much of the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic – and the Department of Education.

As president he would “revive our national identity”, Ramaswamy said. For good measure, he declared “the climate change agenda” a “hoax”.

When you examine his platform, you’ll note that it’s pretty much standard Republican fare these days. But it’s the package the message is being delivered in that’s different. Ramaswamy has got “it,” as they say in Hollywood — “it” being the undefined, indescribable aura, talent, or personality that sets Ramaswamy apart from the pack. This is what has gotten him to this point in the campaign.

But now, all eyes will turn his way at the debate on Wednesday night where we will see if Ramaswamy flames out or whether he can build on this early attention and make a run on Donald Trump’s number one position.


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