On Wednesday night, the conservative Republican writer attended a watch party for the Republican debate in Simi Valley, California. Despite the prevailing belief that California is overrun by progressive liberals, the writer highlights the existence of over 5 million Republicans in the state. Curious to see how these Republicans would react to the candidates, the writer live-tweeted the moments that stood out.
The atmosphere in the room changed when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized former President Donald Trump for not attending the debate. The writer notes that DeSantis created the first stir among the audience. Meanwhile, jokes made by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, such as calling Trump “Donald Duck,” were met with groans by the attendees.
The writer also observed that the constant interruptions by the candidates, particularly by Tim Scott and Nikki Haley, annoyed viewers at the watch party. Many attendees expressed frustration, with one man even complaining that he couldn’t hear anything. At the end of the evening, a poll conducted by co-host Lindsey Stetson showed that DeSantis received the loudest cheers, followed by Haley. However, both Mike Pence and Christie were met with boos.
And another strong opening from @VivekGRamaswamy.
I like the focus on the disaster that is Bidenomics versus the pettiness we saw last time.
— Bob Hoge (@Bob_Hoge_CA) September 28, 2023
Despite the debate taking place in California, a state often associated with liberal values, most of the attendees at the watch party supported Trump before and after the debate. The writer suggests that Trump made the right decision not to attend, as he still came out as the winner of the night.
Reflecting on the experience, the writer highlights North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum as a surprise winner of the debate. Both the writer and their wife concluded that the event felt more like a job fair for potential Trump cabinet officials or even vice president candidates.
In the conservative Republican writer’s opinion, this watch party provided them with a unique opportunity to witness how politically involved citizens across the country might be reacting to the debate.