The PJ Tatler

For Now, Fiorina Replaces Christie in CNN's 'Varsity' Debate

It would be odd to say she “bounced” the big guy.

Carly Fiorina is in an all-out sprint to keep the momentum going at the polls in hopes of making it into CNN’s varsity debate next month, with recent numbers showing she’s gripping onto that stage by her fingertips.

Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who has never held political office, got a boost on Tuesday as a CNN/ORC poll put her at 5 percent support, bumping Chris Christie out of the top 10.

CNN is taking the average of surveys released by 13 major polling operations between mid-July and Sept. 10 to determine the top 10 participants for the main event, while the remaining candidates who score at least 1 percent across their three best polls will participate in an earlier debate.

Pollsters say Fiorina is on track to make it to the big show on Sept. 16, as long as she is able to consistently score higher numbers in more polls.

As of right now, the GOP probably gains a lot more having Fiorina in the prime-time debate than it loses if Christie isn’t there. Love ’em or hate ’em, most of the candidates in this circus have at least one thing that they can claim is the reason they’re in the mix. It’s difficult to see what Christie’s niche is. There are far more accomplished governors (even Jeb) in the race and it’s not like he’s going to bring New Jersey into play for the Republicans.

The other candidates need to fight for position for that magical moment when The Donald grows bored and leaves the race for another train set in the rich man’s basement. Some of them have done a remarkable job of not getting distracted by the noise.