All eyes are on two Indian-Americans, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, as Republican presidential candidates head to Simi Valley in California for the second GOP primary 2024 debate. Frontrunner Donald Trump, a former president, is not participating in the debate. Six candidates have qualified for the GOP Primary 2024 debate to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley on Wednesday. The candidates are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former vice-president Mike Pence, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Senator Tim Scott, along with Haley and Ramaswamy. Eight candidates qualified for the first debate last month.
Following their impressive performance, the popularity of both Indian-American candidates is on the rise. In most of the recent polls, Haley and Ramaswamy are polling after Trump. DeSantis, who was considered a viable alternative to Trump, is under intense pressure to perform during the second debate. Haley and Ramaswamy have been making campaign stops in the early primary and caucus states. The two have also released their economic and energy policies, which would be the theme of the primary debate. “After being largely ignored by his rivals during his last outing, the governor requires a strong performance in this debate, scheduled days before this financial quarter’s fundraising deadline, to prevent further slippage in the polls and line his campaign’s coffers,” the Washington Examiner said.
The US Today wrote that Haley already beats Biden in polls. Now, she needs to win the next Republican debate, it said. “Haley’s experience and thoughtful answers on abortion, the national debt and foreign policy show she’s got the leadership chops – and reasoned temperament – to do the country’s top job,” the daily said. A recent poll said that Haley now holds the second place in New Hampshire after Trump. “Nikki Haley, from the very start, has said that she’s going to work harder than everyone else. She certainly has done that here,” Neil Levesque of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics told the local media. “She’s been campaigning the old school way, really connecting with voters,” he added.
According to CNN, after a splashy debut at the first Republican presidential debate, Ramaswamy has gone from an unknown to a contender who is now facing questions about his youth and lack of political experience, especially given his position as the first millennial to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Dave Carney, a longtime Republican strategist with decades of presidential campaign experience, told a Fox News affiliate in Los Angeles that candidates who “have a breakout night” at the second debate “can put some of their rivals to sleep and can start formulating themselves as the alternative to Trump”.