The Drudge Report published its instant poll results from Wednesday night's first Democratic primary debate and a surprise (well, a surprise to some) winner has been announced. With nearly 46 percent of the vote, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is the victor.
Gabbard, who often cited her military credentials at last night's contest, had a memorable exchange with fellow contender Tim Ryan (OH) over the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan that may have fueled her win. She served in the Iraq War and is clearly studied up on foreign policy. That's why she was stunned when Rep. Ryan suggested that the Taliban were responsible for the September 11 terror attacks. He added that it justified our troops being there.
"We've got to be completely engaged," Ryan insisted.
Gabbard quickly corrected him. The reason she and others joined the military was "to go after Al Qaeda, not the Taliban," she explained.
She added that Ryan's determination to "stay engaged" was "unacceptable."
"We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan," she said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came in second in the Drudge poll, but it was a far second as she only nabbed 11 percent of the vote. John Delaney (perhaps another surprise) came in third with just over 9 percent.
At the bottom of the poll were former Texas State Rep. Beto O'Rourke and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who tried to out-Spanish each other last night.
Her name may not be as prominent as some of her opponents, but Gabbard's Drudge win did not surprise everyone.
Tulsi winning the Drudge poll shouldn’t shock. The avatar of the populist movement is an isolationist at heart. https://t.co/R1hnUdXN1M— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) June 27, 2019
Google found that Gabbard was also one of the most searched names last night.
Her onstage performance can only help her. Because in the grander scheme of things, she is polling at an average of 0.8 percent.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated with additional information.