The first major national poll since the second GOP debate finds Carly Fiorina surging into a second place and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's campaign in total collapse.
The survey by CNN of 444 registered Republican voters put Donald Trump in first place with 24% support, a drop of 8 points since their last poll, and Fiorina in second place with 15%. Fiorina earned plaudits on the right for her debate performance, which included multiple clashes with Trump, although fact checkers pointed out that she vividly cited footage from a hidden camera video of Planned Parenthood that does not appear to exist. 52% of respondents said Fiorina was the winner of the debate while 31% said Trump lost.
Dr. Ben Carson, who had surged into second place in many polls after the first debate in August, stood in third at 14%. Sen. Marco Rubio leapt from single digits to fourth place with 11% of the vote, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 9%, Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 6%, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 4%, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3%, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2%, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 1%.
Missing from the list was Walker, who earned less than half a percentage point support, putting the former frontrunner in the same category as long shots like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former New York Gov. George Pataki.
Walker started the race strong early this year and regularly led polls of Iowa through July, where he’s still hoping to jumpstart a comeback with a strong performance in the state’s caucuses. A combination of Trump’s rise, two weak debates, and a string of inconsistent answers on policy questions slowed his momentum however and have relegated him to the bottom tier of the field in recent polls.