A solid performance in Wednesday night’s GOP debate has now put Carly Fiorina into second place in the latest national poll, with 15 percent of the vote, while front-runner Donald Trump maintains strong, if diminished, support with a 24-percent share of those polled. That, though, is an 8 percentage point decrease from earlier in the month when a similar poll had him at 32%.
The biggest problem for most Republican presidential candidates Wednesday night wasn’t presenting a credible plan for overhauling the tax code or defeating the Islamic State.
GWEN IFILL: And in an earlier forum, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham targeted former Senator Rick Santorum on immigration reform.
“I woke up this morning and turned on my set and half expected to see the 11 of them still up there yammering”, said Alan Schroeder, professor at Northeastern University and author of “Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV”.
NBC News on Sunday also released results of a new SurveyMonkey poll conducted over the internet that showed Trump leading the GOP presidential field. In a new CNN/OPS poll (PDF), Fiorina was ranked second behind Trump. In both polls, most respondents who watched the debate thought Fiorina won.
Other candidates tried to elbow their way into more air time by talking over each other or asking moderators for a chance at rebuttal. Trump has dropped somewhat, but most of Carson’s and Fiorina’s support is coming from other Republicans.
“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said“, The Huffpost quotes Fiorina’s statement to CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Yet Trump appeared to mellow as the debate entered its third hour.
BEFORE: Marco Rubio is seen by some Republican insiders as an excellent general election candidate and major contender for the nomination — despite his mediocre poll numbers — because of his energy, youth and Hispanic heritage. The polls in Iowa and New Hampshire that come out next week should be very interesting.
That exchange also prompted a flurry of activity on Google, with “What did Donald Trump say about Carly Fiorina” emerging as one of the top search terms during the debate.
SIEGEL: Let’s talk about Jeb Bush for a moment.
The CNN/ORC poll was conducted September 17-19 and surveyed 1,006 adult Americans, including 924 registered voters – 444 of whom are Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP.