Fiorina jumps to second place in new CNN poll

In the first poll released after the Simi Valley GOP candidate debate, Carly Fiorina has catapulted to second place behind Donald Trump:

Carly Fiorina has rocketed into second place in the Republican presidential field on the heels another strong debate and Donald Trump has lost some support, a new national CNN/ORC poll shows.

The survey, conducted the three days after 23 million people tuned in to Wednesday night’s GOP debate on CNN, shows that Trump is still the party’s front-runner with 24% support. That, though, is an 8 percentage point decrease from earlier in the month when a similar poll had him at 32%.

Fiorina ranks second with 15% support — up from 3% in early September. She’s just ahead of Ben Carson’s 14%, though Carson’s support has also declined from 19% in the previous poll.

Keeping in mind that any poll in which over a third of respondents had never heard of Scott Walker has credibility problems baked in, the poll seems to underscore the fact that we are looking at a “Shiny Object Primary.”

Trump lost 8 points. Carson lost 5 points. Fiorina gained 12 points. What you are looking at is not a real groundswell moving to Fiorina but rather a reshuffling of the demographic segment that is infatuated with nominating and outsider.

When you look at the tabular data there are some other interesting items that will bear watching as we go forward.

Among the professional politicians, a term I’ll use to describe the other 13 members of the pack, momentum seems to have swung toward Rubio. He gained 8 points (to 11%) more than offsetting his decline in an earlier poll. When you add in his second choice voters, his support rises to 26% which moves him very close to parity with Ben Carson.

[mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] is not moving.

Jeb Bush seems to have stopped the hemorrhaging which calls into question his viability. His second choice voters bring him to 20% but his trendline is either flat or downward.

Kasich, the GOP Establishment Mini-Me for Jeb Bush, lost ground.

Walker slipped off the scale. He’s now tied with Gilmore, Graham, Jindal, Pataki, and “someone else.” He’s behind “none” and “no opinion.”

This debate may very well have signaled the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. Not only did he lose 8 points but his “second choice” voters are now only at 8%. His unfavorable rating is down from April but it seems to have settled in at a monotonous ~60% level. All of this suggests that as weaker candidates drop out, he may not benefit… unless the Shiny Object effect continues.

On the other hand, Trump is the runaway favorite when voters are asked who can best handle the economy (44% vs. 11% for Fiorina) and illegal immigration (47% vs. 15% for Rubio). He is a narrow winner on foreign policy (22% vs. 17% for Rubio). He is second (brain status:: exploding) on handling social issues (Carson leads 17% to 15%).