What a difference not being at the “kids table” in a televised Republican Presidential nomination debate and a strong performance makes. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina has been pitchforked to second place a new national CNN/ORC poll:
Carly Fiorina shot into second place in the Republican presidential field on the heels of another strong debate performance, and Donald Trump has lost some support, a new national CNN/ORC poll shows.
It’s too early to suggest this is even the beginning of the beginning of the end for Trump, whose supporters increasingly resemble worshipping groupies like the followers of Justin Bieber. Many of Trump’s supporters are political beliebers, particularly some of those who’ve shown up on cable shows as spokespeople. All they forget to bring is their shrine.
The survey, conducted in the three days after 23 million people tuned in to Wednesday night’s GOP debate on CNN, shows that Trump is still the party’s front-runner with 24% support. That, though, is an 8 percentage point decrease from earlier in the month when a similar poll had him at 32%.
Fiorina ranks second with 15% support — up from 3% in early September. She’s just ahead of Ben Carson’s 14%, though Carson’s support has also declined from 19% in the previous poll.
Driving Trump’s drop and Fiorina’s rise: a debate in which 31% of Republicans who watched said Trump was the loser, and 52% identified Fiorina as the winner.
And there’s another politician to watch:
But one established politician has seen his standing rise after flashing foreign policy chops on the debate stage. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida — identified as Wednesday’s winner by 14% of Republicans, putting him second behind Fiorina — is now in fourth place with 11% support, up from 3% in a previous poll.
In fifth place is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at 9%. He’s followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 6% each, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 4%, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3%, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2% and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 1%.
And the others?
Five other candidates received less than one-half of 1 percentage point support: former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Walker’s collapse is especially stark.
Celebrated by conservatives — in the party’s base and its donor class alike — for his union-busting efforts in Wisconsin, Walker at one point led the field in the key early voting state of Iowa.
His support had already dropped to 5% in a CNN/ORC poll in early September, but the bottom appears to have fallen out completely since then — with a second flat debate performance coming after criticism of his disparate answers on issues like birthright citizenship.
In the case of Walker — a politician who seemed to be unabashedly pandering to the Koch Brothers, you have to say this about the latest poll results:
It couldn’t happen to a nicer — and more — deserving guy. (He’s the guy who with a straight face reassured voters he could handle ISIS because he handled Wisconsin’s labor unions.)
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.