Fiorina, 61, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was added at the very last minute to round two of the GOP debate, and addressed Trump directly about his recent scathing comments about her face.
Fiorina has risen from virtually nonexistent support to a top-tier candidate with strong performances in the first Republican “undercard” debate in August and in last Wednesday’s CNN affair.
Trump still holds a wide lead on the questions of which candidate Republican voters believe would best handle the economy (with Fiorina in second) and illegal immigration (with Rubio in second). Marco Rubio (R-FL), each with 7 percent.
Ben Carson’s numbers also dropped post-debate, from 19 to 14 percent, though the retired neurosurgeon’s favorability rating of 65 percent remains the highest among the crowded GOP field.
“It wasn’t the best format in the world”, said Carson, who in the past few weeks has quietly slid into second place in the polls behind Trump.
Donald Trump is being accused of not telling the truth when he was asked about lobbying for casino gambling in Florida by former Gov. Jeb Bush during Wednesday night’s debate.
A CNN/ORC poll released Sunday shows Fiorina with 15 percent support, up from 3 percent in early September.
“I don’t think it’s a weakness at all“, Fiorina curtly replied.
Meanwhile, support for Trump’s candidacy – which stood at 32 percent in August – has slipped to 24 percent, the new poll shows.
Mr Trump owes his frontrunner status in the Republican field in large part to his successful presentation of himself as a political outsider who is unafraid to speak the unvarnished truth and is too rich to be beholden to special interests. In fact, people who watched the debate thought Trump was the most presidential even if they thought Fiorina won. He now registers just 2 percent support among Republicans.
As to Bush, the once assumed leader has been stuck at 40 percent in this poll for months; and while the others surge, Bush has merely treaded water-not a good sign for his campaign.
The biggest positive movement was in favor of Fiorina, whose favorability rating has climbed by 9 percentage points since August.
Viewers who stuck with the three-hour talk-fest not only became more familiar with the candidates and their positions, but also got to see them snipe at each other. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.