Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Debates Matter: Fiorina Wins, Trump Stumbles

The new polls – CNN/ORC (telephone) and NBC (online SurveyMonkey) – show most Republican viewers (23 million in total) agree with the pundits: Carly Fiorina won the debate and Donald Trump was mostly on the defense. The timing and format of this debate was designed to be a problem for the high-profile frontrunner. The question format wanted to encourage critical crosstalk between the field and Trump. And indeed, he received most of the barbs.

It was also destined to be less short answers and more long policy positions. Trump is generally good at the quick retort and glib critical observations. But he’s thin on policy and credible evidence to support his often bold and sometimes bizarre statements offered as fact.

Outsiders still dominate the party’s preference, but the order is changing, with Fiorina jumping from eighth to second since the debate. She is now in second in the CNN poll and judged the overwhelming winner of the debate in both polls.

Photo: Right Speak

In a nomination race thus far dominated by polls and debates, performance counts. Fiorina and Marco Rubio had the best CNN performance and have been rewarded in the early polls.

Donald Trump remains the frontrunner, former frontrunner Jeb Bush treads water at 9 percent, and former top candidate Scott Walker, after two weak performances and collapsing polls, is gone.

CNN: Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP
NBC News: Carly Fiorina won GOP debate, but Trump still leads: NBC online survey
9News: Republican field targets Donald Trump at second debate

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