First, the good news — Carly Fiorina might just win a spot at the first GOP debate:
The former Hewlett Packard CEO-turned-Republican candidate ranked seventh and eighth in the two most recent polls from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling and YouGov/Economist. She’s tied with other candidates in both but, if her current rise in the polls continues, Fiorina will make it into the top 10 — the metric Fox News is using to pare down the remarkably crowded Republican field. That means that at least seven candidates who are expected to run will be sitting out the party’s first debate.
Fox News will factor in the most recent five big national polls — and notably that wouldn’t include the above mentioned polls — when they decide on debate participants. If the cutoff was today, Fiorina wouldn’t make it on the stage: She scores second to last, according to NBC News’ calculation. However, the two new polls do signal rising momentum.
Fox should suspend their own rules and bring Fiorina in for a completely different reason: She’s electric. Nobody who watched her moribund 2010 Senate race would ever have predicted that, but Fiorina has come alive. She’s smart, tough, and most importantly, fast on the counterpunch. She’d liven up Fox’s debate stage and likely goose their ratings. Whatever you think of the politics of including Fiorina even if her poll numbers don’t rise high enough, it would make great business sense.
And now, for the even better news:
Phillip Bump explains:
Clinton’s favorability tends to swell when she’s not running for office and dip when she is. CNN, in partnership with ORC, released its own poll Sunday, which included a long-term track of Clinton’s favorability. If you look at it since 2006, when she was widely expected to be the 2008 Democratic nominee, to today, you can see that trend.
But notice, too, that her net favorability now is lower than at any point over the last 10 years. Why?
CNN also broke out Clinton’s favorability by demographic. She’s very, very popular among Democrats and very, very unpopular among Republicans. Among independents? Let’s say very unpopular — with only one “very” this time.
The net result is that Clinton will be forced to rely on minority voters to at least the degree Obama did, but lacking his ability to connect with and inspire them.