Vivek Ramaswamy, GOP Presidential Candidate, Has Plenty of Room to Grow His Profile

44% of potential Republican primary voters have never heard of him
February 28, 2023 at 5:00 am UTC

Vivek Ramaswamy’s entrance into the race for the Republican presidential nomination last week has not made much of a splash, according to a new Morning Consult survey that found meager awareness and buzz about the 37-year-old entrepreneur.

Nearly Half of GOP Voters Have Not Heard of Vivek Ramaswamy

Shares of voters with a favorable or unfavorable view of Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy
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Survey conducted Feb. 24-26, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,993 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Vivek Ramaswamy is a relative unknown to the GOP electorate

  • Only about a third of potential Republican primary voters have formed opinions about Ramaswamy, with 28% expressing favorable and 8% expressing unfavorable views. Another 44% said they have never heard of Ramaswamy, making him the least-known declared presidential aspirant among those tracked by Morning Consult. 
  • Ramaswamy’s rollout, via a Fox News “Tucker Carlson Tonight” hit and Wall Street Journal op-ed on Feb. 21, produced little buzz. Just 9% of potential Republican primary voters said they had seen, read or heard “a lot” about his campaign announcement — less than half of the 23% who said the same of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s launch earlier this month — and just 19% said they recently heard something positive about him.
  • Stacked up against a wide hypothetical primary field in Morning Consult's 2024 GOP Primary Tracker, 1% of potential GOP primary voters said they’d vote for Ramaswamy if the 2024 primary or caucus were held in their state today, compared with 6% for Haley, 30% for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and 48% for former President Donald Trump.   

How Vivek Ramaswamy polls against Biden

Though Ramaswamy has made a name for himself in right-wing circles as a fierce opponent of corporate activism on cultural issues, the new survey suggests he is poised to have a minimal impact on the overall Republican contest. 

Like Haley before him, Ramaswamy steered clear of criticizing Trump, and the former president has yet to acknowledge his bid — though he did drop a video flexing his own actions against corporate environmental, social, and governance practices and praising Republicans for “following my lead” on the issue.

If Ramaswamy is a nonissue for Trump, he also appears to be of little concern for President Joe Biden, who at this point is expected to be the Democratic Party’s 2024 nominee. 

In a reflection of his relative obscurity, just 1 in 5 voters said they would support Ramaswamy in a hypothetical matchup against the incumbent president, compared with 42% who would support Biden. Biden garners similar levels of support against Haley, Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s inching toward a bid.

The latest survey was conducted Feb. 24-26, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,993 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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