Republican debate: Top four takeaways from one-on-one clash between Haley and DeSantis

The CNN-sponsored primary debate between former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Wednesday night featured sharp barbs between the two candidates ahead of the Jan. 15. Iowa caucuses.

It was the first time DeSantis and Haley went toe-to-toe during the GOP primary, with both acknowledging that former President Donald Trump’s absence was a missed opportunity, but that didn’t mean they were willing to heavily excoriate him.

The two are battling to coalesce disaffected GOP voters behind their campaigns as Trump remains the undisputed front-runner in the field.

With just five days before the first voters begin deciding on which candidate will become the GOP’s next standard-bearer, there isn’t much time left to block Trump from winning the nomination. But the CNN debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, gave the two candidates
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