NBC News has come out with the first poll since the GOP debate last Thursday, and Donald Trump is still in the cat-bird seat… though his lead has dropped quite a bit.
Trump went from 22 to 23% according to the poll (with a 7% margin of error). The big winners were Ted Cruz who climbed to 13% and Carly Fiorina who went from 2% to 8%, enough to boost her into the varsity debate.
The biggest losers appeared to be Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, both of whom went from 10% prior to the debate to 7% after. John Kasich slide 1 point to 2% and will most likely be on the JV stage along side of Rick Perry. Most of the rest of the field stayed the same or was within a point of where they were before the debate.
As for the question of who did best and worst, Carly Fiorina topped all comers with 22% saying she did the best of any debater that day. Trump had 18% for high amongst the second debate, and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz rounded out the top four with 13% and 12% respectively.
On the question of who did the worst? Donald Trump. 29% said his debating style was the worst of any of the 17 candidates. That was followed by 14% who felt Rand Paul was the worst, and 11% who felt that way with Jeb Bush.
So what does all of this mean? Basically that the “Harry Beal Syndrome” is alive and well and living in the GOP so far. But it also shows something else very telling…actually two things very telling. First is Trump only rose 1%, so he’s pretty well topped out. Second…there’s a 7% margin of error and his lead dropped from 13% to 10% indicating a move away from Trump and to other candidates…in this case, Ted Cruz (mini-Trump?).
When asked about the most controversial question of the evening, 54% of the Trump supporters said they’d back him in an independent run should he not get the GOP nomination. That means that IF everything in the poll was true, and held, that about 12.42% of the 23% that said they support Trump would follow him. Of course, with a 7% margin of error…that number could be as low as 5.5%. Either way, it would hurt the GOP, and tell the world an awful lot about Donald Trump’s character!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!