Despite her falling poll numbers, businesswomen Carly Fiorina has one group of GOP voters in her corner.
G2 Analytics, an analytics platform that allows users to give real-time feedback during live or recorded events, and the College Republican National Committee conducted a web-based focus group to measure 328 Millennial Republican primary voters’ reactions during the Nov. 10 debate hosted by Fox Business Network.
Using a buzzer, participants indicate whether a candidate’s answer made them “more likely” or “less likely” to vote for that particular candidate. What’s more, participants answered “flash poll” questions during commercial breaks.
The results indicated conservative Millennials are 80.8% “more likely” to support after Fiorina after the fourth debate — the highest of any Republican candidate.
There’s more at the link, but the real problem is that Mrs Fiorina, my preferred candidate, is simply not generating news. The Atlantic noted, on October 20th:
Fiorina has practically disappeared from the headlines in the last few weeks. She doesn’t seem to be as good at collecting “earned media”—attention in the press, more or less. Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in contrast, are great at creating controversies that get them on TV. John Sides at The Monkey Cage has been on a crusade to convince readers that Trump’s high polling, and any dips, are caused almost entirely by the level of media attention he receives. Carson’s statements about the Holocaust and gun control, or about the Umpqua massacre, may be derided by some, but they keep his name in the news—and they rile up supporters who see criticism of his remarks as persecution. (Fiorina pulled something similar off when she insisted she’d seen a video taken at a Planned Parenthood that did not exist, but that moment passed, and she hasn’t created another.)
Just how bad that is is reflected in the results of my Google search: the article, dated over a month ago, appeared on the very first page of a Google search for Carly Fiorina made at 8:29 AM this morning. A site search of The New York Times did not return a single article about Mrs Fiorina dated in November, save a single one which was an article about Hillary Clinton not defending Mrs Fiorina when a man at one of Mrs Clinton’s events said that he’d like to strangle the Republican candidate.
I have to ask: what the Hell is Mrs Fiorina’s campaign staff doing? Her staff is responsible for generating attention for the candidate, and they are not getting it done. Oh, I still get plenty of e-mails — mostly asking for campaign contributions — and see plenty of Facebook and Twitter notices from the staff, but that is stuff that could all be done by one 19 year old college sophomore working on his first campaign.¹ But, in the end, if Mrs Fiorina’s staff is not doing good work, the candidate herself is responsible for it.
And Mrs Fiorina has failed, directly, in a couple of ways:
- The leading candidates have all thrown out plenty of red meat on which the media promptly jumped. Some of the press was good, and some unfavorable — and I’d argue that most of Donald Trump’s and Ben Carson’s media coverage has been unfavorable — but it is an old, old saying that all publicity is good publicity, and Mrs Fiorina, pretty much the polar opposite of a red meat candidate, has not been generating any. She is, in my opinion, the best potential president out there, but she isn’t showing herself to be the best presidential candidate, at least at the moment.
- As I have noted previously, Mrs Fiorina got her initial surge due to her performances in the first two debates,² but that she needed to continue to win the debates to sustain her candidacy, and that she has not done. Her performances in the third and fourth debates were solid, but they were still not the winning ones.
This diary on RedState suggests that some of the lower tier candidates are about to run out of money, and it does not list Mrs Fiorina among the five running out of money.³ Mrs Fiorina has been a bit more cautious with her campaign spending, which would allow her to continue longer, but eventually she is going to have to generate more interest, and spend more money, or she will fall by the wayside. Perhaps her campaign and she hope to pick up most of the support of the candidates who drop out before her — most of the candidates who are running out of money are, like her, not the red meat candidates — but I have to wonder if that could ever be enough.
Published in a slightly different form on The First Street Journal. Neither this article nor the one on my individual website are sponsored by, or paid for, by the candidate or her SuperPAC.
¹ – Most of it seems to originate with Mrs Fiorina’s SuperPAC, Carly for America, which has been doing most of the campaign work, while less comes from the official campaign site, Carly for President.
² – In the initial debate on Fox, she was relegated to the undercard debate.
³ – Ron Paul, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush