Post GOP Debate Poll: Round One Winners, Losers And Surprises

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The first polls following the recent GOP Presidential Debates have come out showing the winners and losers of the first round of debates. The two-tiered debate was a controversial format to begin with, having the top ten poll sitters as the main attraction and the rest of the field in a separate debate disparagingly referred to as “the kids table.”

An NBC/Survey Monkey poll released today, Sunday Aug. 9th, shows that Donald Trump maintains his lead on the Republican field, moving up from 22% to 23% in this poll from the week before. It also revealed some interesting shifts in the standings of his rivals. In the “republican primary voters/leaners” category, two candidates made drastic gains. One from the main stage of candidates, Ted Cruz, more than doubled his support post-debate by moving from 6% the week before up to 13%. Cruz’s debate performance puts him in 2nd place, just ahead of Ben Carson who improved from 8% to 11% support.

From the “kids table,” Carly Fiorina vaulted from 2% support to a tie with Marco Rubio (whose support remained unchanged from the week before) for 4th place at 8%. Mike Huckabee also got a 1% bump coming out of the “kids table” debate as well, while nearly a third of all the candidates saw no change post-debate. As noteworthy as the gainers were, the post-debate losers are equally worthy of discussion.

The two biggest losers, both on the main stage debate, were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Both went into the debate tied for 2nd place behind Trump, each at 10% support according to this poll. Each came out of the debate tied for 6th place, dropping to single digits each at 7%. Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and John Kasich also lost a step in this post-debate poll.

In the Best Job/Worst Job In The Debate category, Carly Fiorina blew the rest of the field out of the water with 22% of those polled saying she did the best job vs. only 2% who said she did the worst. In contrast, Donald Trump had 18% who said he did the best and a whopping 29% who said he did the worst. Fiorina’s net best/worst was positive 20 and Trump’s net best/worst was negative 11. Donald Trump continues to be the leader in the Love Him/Hate Him category, his 29% worst job number was more than double the second place worst job finisher Rand Paul, who also had a net best/worst of 11, but only 3% best vs. 14% worst.

Finally, the poll found that Republican voters report that these debates matter: 25% said a
candidate’s debate performance is very important to their vote decision, and another 54% it is
somewhat important. The poll also found that 54% of Trump supporters said they would vote for him if he ran as an independent, a subject that came up early in the debate as well. The next Republican debate will take place on September 16 at the Reagan Library in California.

About the Author

Jon Britton
Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and writing zombie stories to politics and News. He is an avid "people watcher," political junkie and has a ravenous appetite for history and current events alike.