The Indian American billionaire turned-politician Vivek Ramaswamy has created a storm in US political circles. Within a short span, his popularity has swelled considerably, and is now at a joint second position in the race of Republican Presidential candidates, as revealed by recent polls.
On Saturday, a new National poll revealed that he is at a tied-second spot with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the GOP primary contest. Both of them garnered the support of 10 percent of the votes polled in the survey. However, both leaders are trailing significantly behind former US President Donald Trump. As per the survey, Trump has been maintaining an unassailable voter margin of 46 percent.
The Emerson College poll found that Republicans’ support for Trump has remained steady at 56 percent despite the fact that he faced three different indictments in the same time frame. Throughout the GOP Presidential race, Trump has garnered the support of more than half of the Republican voter base.
This latest poll gives a significant indication days ahead of the first GOP primary debate which is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On the basis of a leaked campaign strategy document, US media has claimed that DeSantis has planned to “take a sledgehammer” to challenge the rising star within the party, seemingly aimed at Vivek Ramaswamy.
This comes in the wake of a massive decline in the support base of Florida Governor DeSantis. According to the Emerson College poll, the support for DeSantis has declined alarmingly by 11 percent. Evidently, two months back the same polling agency found that nearly 21 percent of Republicans were favouring DeSantis in the GOP Presidential race as against 10% in the recent survey.
However, this is not an isolated indication, rather the same trend was also noted in other recent polls. As highlighted by the Emerson College Poll, the 38-year-old businessman Ramaswamy has registered a notable surge of 8 percent in support since June.
The Executive Director of the poll, Spencer Kimball said that Ramaswamy’s appeal has grown particularly among Republican voters holding postgraduate degrees. Earlier, this segment had been associated with DeSantis. Further, Ramaswamy has managed to gain support among Republican voters below the age of 35.
Despite the surge, the road ahead for Indian American Vivek Ramaswamy would not be easy as he is up against Trump seemingly in a David vs Goliath battle. If the current trend persists, many political analysts have suggested that in that case, he should be ready to run as Trump’s running mate, that is, run for Vice Presidency under Donald J Trump.
However, reflecting strongly on this possibility, Ramaswamy firmly stated that he would decline such an offer. On Saturday (19 August), in a Fox News interview, Ramaswamy said he would turn down an offer of the vice presidency if he doesn’t win the GOP presidential nomination for 2024.
As per US newspaper The Hill, he said, “I’m not interested in a different position in the government.”
He added, “Frankly, I’d drive change through the private sector sooner than becoming a number 2 or a number 3 in the federal government. Donald Trump and I share something in common, and that is that neither of us would do well in a number 2 position.”
Currently, Ramaswamy stands out as the youngest major Republican presidential contender. He hails from Ohio and holds a biology degree from Harvard University and a Yale Law School diploma.
In his speeches, he has taken an anti-war, anti-immigrant, anti-wokeism, and delinking Russia-China alliance stance. Recently, he gained an influential supporter in the form of Elon Musk who hailed him as a “very promising candidate.”