The first post-debate polls are out, and it was just as folks expected – Donald Trump is continuing his stranglehold on the GOP polls.
It seems not even the Fox News/Megyn Kelly controversy could trip up “The Donald,” as an NBC/SurveyMonkey poll released on Aug. 10 showed that 23 percent of likely GOP voters would throw their support behind Trump. Not only is he still holding the lead, but that’s a percentage point higher than the previous poll.
Two explanations can be given here. Either Republican voters really, really love Trump, or they loved seeing a candidate finally give it to Fox News and the GOP establishment. The consensus is that it’s somewhere in between the two.
But Trump was not the only one to come out like a shiny Rolls Royce in the NBC/SurveyMonkey poll. Also making a surge is Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who is now in (distant) second place behind Trump at 13 percent.
Carly Fiorina, the star of the “kid’s table” debate, also made a predictable surge, as she went from two to eight percent, and is now tied with Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio for fourth place. Also coming out looking like a million bucks? Ben Carson, who is two points behind Cruz in third place with 11 percent of the vote. Mike Huckabee also enjoyed a one percent bump, but unlike Cruz, he’s still holding on for dear life, polling at just five percent.
So enough with the winners, how about the losers?
Jeb Bush and Scott Walker both dropped three percentage points, from 10 to seven percent, from the last NBC/SurveyMonkey poll, but they’re still in the Top 10, so that has to count for something, right? Actually, that’s not comforting, because Bush is sliding his way out of a race he had in the bag, and Walker is proving that it’s not wise to join a party at the last minute.
Despite Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s spirited performance, he actually dropped a percentage point, from three percent to two, tying him with Mr. Opps, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Rand Paul, another winner of the first debate, slipped a percentage point too, from six percent to five, but he’s still in the race.
But Paul may have dealt a blow to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as GOP voters were reminded of the “hug” he gave President Barack Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He dropped two percentage points, from three percent to just one. Rounding out the bottom was Bobby Jindal (one percent), Rick Santorum and Geroge Pataki, the latter two receiving no votes at all.
So, to put it another way, it’s still the year of “The Donald” in GOP land.