Polls conducted by both CNN/ORC and NBC’s Survey Monkey indicate that Carly Fiorina was the clear winner of the second Republican primary presidential debate, netting the most enthusiastic responses and getting a significant bump in the polls. While Fiorina has usurped Ben Carson to gain second place amongst the presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump still remains the frontrunner.
NBC’s poll culled its results from data accumulated by SurveyMonkey, an online platform that allows respondents to provide detailed answers when it comes to their stances on the issues and their thoughts on the candidates. According to their results, Carly Fiorina won the Sept. 16 presidential by a wide distance, with 36 percent of respondents listing her as doing the best job.
Frontrunner Donald Trump came in second with 21 percent of respondents declaring him the winner of the evening. However, his performance proved to be highly divisive with 19 percent saying he had the worst night, earning him a net score of only two.
According to CNN’s poll, Fiorina’s standing in the presidential race jumped up by 3 percentage points, putting her at 15 percent and now second only to Trump. She has overtaken Ben Carson, who dipped down from 19 percent to 14 percent.
Trump remains a frontrunner with a comfortable lead, sitting atop the presidential pile with 24 percent. However, he has lost 9 percentage points post-debate, having to share more of the primary pie after dividing prospective voters at the debate.
Another candidate who has benefited from the Sept. 16 debate is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; 8 percent of respondents listing him as doing the best job with zero calling him the worst. He has jumped up by 11 percentage points in CNN’s poll, placing him as fourth in the presidential race with 14 percent.
NBC’s poll shows that 32 percent of voters -- setting aside who they would actually vote for -- believe that Trump will ultimately win the Republican nomination. The poll also revealed the issues most important to potential Republican voters; defunding Planned Parenthood and denying illegal immigrants amnesty were among the most important issues to voters.
Fiorina had originally not been allowed to participate in the first main presidential debate, instead relegated to a debate earlier that evening consisting of the bottom-tier candidates. However, after a strong performance her numbers climbed up, she was allowed to join the other 10 highest polling candidates in the second debate.
All three of the leading candidates — Trump, Fiorina and Carson — are the only ones amongst the presidential candidates without government experience.