A new poll released by Fox News holds some surprises for both parties. On the rise in the new survey are Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Ted Cruz. Falling are Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul.
Businessman Donald Trump still leads the field for the Republican nomination. He gets 25 percent among GOP primary voters. He was at 26 percent before the debate. Trump’s support among women went from 24 percent two weeks ago to 21 percent now. He mostly held steady among men (28 percent).
The real-estate mogul maintains his first-place status despite also being judged in the poll as having the worst debate performance and being considered the least likeable Republican candidate. More on that later.
The August 6 Republican presidential debate was hosted by Fox News Channel in Cleveland. Several of the exchanges at the debate remained in the news for days after.
Next in the GOP race is Carson, who garners 12 percent. That’s up five percentage points since the debate and puts him in double-digits for the first time since mid-June. Cruz captures 10 percent, up four points.
Bush has dropped to nine percent. That’s down six points — and puts him in single digits for the first time since April. That’s likely a result of his debate performance, which was judged subpar by those who watched. Bush does well on other measures — he’s seen as both likeable and qualified.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee held steady at six percent. Walker slips to six percent — down three points and the lowest support he’s received for more than a year.
Fiorina garners five percent support (+3 points), with Kasich (+1) and Rubio (-1) both at four percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Paul each get three percent. The remaining candidates are at one percent or less.
On the Democratic side, Clinton drops below 50 percent for the first time, while Sanders keeps climbing. She leads among Democratic primary voters by 19 points (49-30 percent). Two weeks ago Clinton was up by 29 points (51-22 percent). A month ago she had a 40-point advantage (59-19 percent).
Vice President Joe Biden, who is undeclared, receives the backing of 10 percent.
The remaining Democratic candidates are at one percent or less.
The only surprise to me is the strength of Ben Carson, who I didn’t think had a particularly good debate. Perhaps he came off better by comparison because both Walker and Bush didn’t impress at all.
As for Sanders, his problem is that socialists have a limited appeal in the U.S., except among the far left. At 30% nationwide, that might be the limit of his popularity.
Not so for Fiorina and a resurgent Ted Cruz, who vaulted into the first tier of candidates with their debate performances. All this could change at the next debate in September at the Reagan Library. But the stage will be crowded with 16 candidates. In order to stand out, a candidate is going to have to do or say something pretty outrageous.