Trump, Carson still lead ahead of CNBC debate

Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the top two voter-getters in all of the latest polls, decided to strong-arm CNBC into complying to some of their demands in regards to next week’s debate. CNBC dropped the planned three hours, and they will allow opening and closing statements. Since Trump and Carson have so much power, they should have demanded CNBC raise the threshold from 2.5% to 3.5% average. It would have resulted most likely in 6 people in primetime instead of 8-9.

by John English Photo © 2015 Beau Sorensen
by John English. Photo © 2015 Beau Sorensen

If the debate were tomorrow, the order left to right would be 8-Paul, 6-Bush, 4-Fiorina, 2-Carson, 1-Trump, 3-Rubio, 5-Cruz, 7-Huckabee, 9-Kasich. The afternoon debate left to right would be 3-Jindal, 1-Christie, 2-Santorum and 4-Graham. (Pataki and Gilmore would be out. Why they’re still running is beyond me.) The momentum of the polls however, shows that while Jeb Bush is treading water, Trump, Carson, and Cruz are trending up. Rubio may be going down a bit, but he’s up to 2nd place now in New Hampshire polls. Fiorina’s downtrend is a little dramatic, but she has less of a percentage to play with. By the time the CNBC debate gets here, we could see Cruz in 4th, Bush in 5th, Fiorina in 6th, and Christie could either swap places with Kasich, or both could miss the final cut and we’d have only eight candidates in prime-time.

Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul are hanging in there. They each got 5% in CNN’s latest poll.

In fact, to illustrate how the race is going, here’s where the candidates rank in average with the last ten national polls, and then just the last five national polls.

1. Donald Trump – 24.4% (26.2%)
2. Ben Carson – 19.6% (21.2%)
3. Marco Rubio – 9.6% (8.8%)
4. Carly Fiorina – 7.5% (5.6%)
5. Ted Cruz – 7.2% (8.4%)
6. Jeb Bush – 7.2% (7%)
7. Mike Huckabee – 3.1% (3.8%)
8. Rand Paul – 3% (3.6%)
9. John Kasich – 2.7% (2%)
10. Chris Christie – 2.1% (2.4%)
Santorum, Jindal, Graham, Pataki, Gilmore all less than 1%.

Now why is Fiorina slipping? She’s actually losing the support of women. I looked into the numbers of the latest CNN poll. They divided the GOP men and women. Fiorina came in 5th with men at 7% but 7th with women at 5%. Which candidate has the greatest jump in support from men to women? Jeb Bush. He tied for 5th with Fiorina among men at 7%, but he comes in 3rd with GOP women voters at 13%. (The biggest drop difference from men to women was Ben Carson. 22% and 1st with men, 15% and 2nd with women. Trump was 17% with men and women.)

And in the more important polls – the state polls – Fiorina has gone from 2nd place in New Hampshire to 7th. Below is where the candidate rank in the latest PPP poll compared to where they ranked three weeks ago in the NBC poll.

1. Donald Trump – 28% (21%)
2. Marco Rubio – 12% (10%)
3. Ben Carson – 11% (10%)
4. John Kasich – 10% (6%)
5. Jeb Bush – 9% (11%)
6. Ted Cruz – 8% (6%)
7. Carly Fiorina – 7% (16%)
8. Rand Paul – 4% (5%)
9. Chris Christie – 3% (7%)
10. Rick Santorum – 2% (0%)

Other notes:

  • The media may be enjoying this time when the Democrats appear unified and the Republicans are in disarray, but Vox (I know, I know) makes the case that in-fighting in the GOP is actually healthy, while the united Democrats actually have a thin bench and not much of a path to regain the House.
  • Donald Trump and Jeb Bush may be battling over what the actual legacy of former president George W. Bush is, but when asked, the candidate Dubya dislikes the most is actually fellow Texan Ted Cruz. Said he to donors: “I just don’t like the guy.” And since Ted used to work for George, he has some experience off which to base his opinion.
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