A new GOP presidential poll shows a surprising surge for biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, as he is now dead even with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for second place.

The news comes as quite a surprise, perhaps more so for the DeSantis campaign than anybody else.

A survey from Kaplan Strategies shows DeSantis and Ramaswamy tied at 12% each while both men remain well behind Donald Trump’s 48%.

“Ramaswamy outperformed six other hopefuls by more than double, marking a significant surprise in this poll,” said Doug Kaplan, founder of the data collecting firm.

Kaplan also notes that while DeSantis has a solid favorability rating amongst GOP voters at 59%, Ramaswamy is considered to have a much higher ceiling due to a lack of name recognition.

Following Trump, Ramaswamy, and DeSantis are South Carolina senator Tim Scott, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and former vice president Mike Pence, sitting each with 5%.

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has 3%, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson has 1%, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum got himself a big fat goose egg.

RELATED: Vivek Ramaswamy Demands Republican Candidates Sign His Pledge To Pardon Donald Trump

Trump Mocks DeSantis For Poll Showing A Rising Ramaswamy

Leading GOP contender Trump took to his Truth Social media platform and jabbed DeSantis over the news, also taking yet another shot at former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight.

“Vivek Ramaswamy is now beating DeSanctimonious,” he said referencing the new poll. “Christie dead as his stomach band.”

“‘Aida’ Hutchinson a solid minus 1%,” Trump joked. “I’m up 44 points!!! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.”

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams praised Ramaswamy’s campaign as being the best thus far on either side of the aisle.

“[Ramaswamy] so far has the best campaign on either side, no baggage, clear policies, charisma, and he’s the smartest player on the field,” Adams tweeted. “He’s one debate from leading DeSantis.”

DeSantis would have been well-advised to wait to pursue the presidency until 2028. His popularity would have only continued to rise as governor of the Sunshine State for another four years, and he would practically have coasted to the nomination.

Instead, he’s battling it out with somebody that 27% in this latest poll say they don’t know enough about, all for the bragging rights as the second-place finisher.

RELATED: DeSantis Delivers Controversial Remarks About Trump’s Actions on January 6th – ‘He Should’ve Come Out More Forcefully’

Why Is He Doing So Well?

It’s clear that the more people see Ramaswamy, the higher his poll numbers go. But what, substantively, is behind that rise?

It seems rather clear that part of that ascension in the field is due to Ramaswamy’s vocal defense of Trump in the midst of obvious political persecution by the Biden administration.

Thus far, the only Republican candidate for President to fully commit to a pardon of Trump should the current charges against him become convictions has been Ramaswamy.

In fact, Ramaswamy challenged every other presidential candidate to sign a pledge that they would right the wrong of a politicized Justice Department and pardon Trump.

“This is my commitment, on Jan 20th 2025, if I’m elected the next U.S. president, to pardon Donald J. Trump,” Ramaswamy announced. “I have demanded that every other candidate in this race either sign this commitment to pardon.”

DeSantis hasn’t signed that pledge.

In fact, when news surfaced that Trump was the target of a Justice Department investigation into the January 6th riot at the Capitol, DeSantis suggested the former President should have acted more forcefully that day.

DeSantis did point out that the DOJ investigation of Trump’s actions on January 6 seems to be a continuation of the Biden administration’s pursuit of their political opponents.

But his desire to have it both ways – critical and supportive – is what turns Republican voters off.

They know Trump is being made an example of, just as they know a vast majority of the J6 protesters were made an example of. All for the satisfaction of the egotistical President Joe Biden.

Ramaswamy is tapping into that.

Despite the poll numbers, buzz, and potential, Ramswamy has said he will not join the Trump ticket as Vice President.

“I will be helpful to this country in whatever way I can, but I would not be number two or member of an administration,” he said. “I just don’t think that’s the right way for me to make the maximal positive impact on this country.”

Only time will tell if Ramaswamy will be able to keep this momentum going in the coming months.

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