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Carly Fiorina jumps into 2nd place in new CNN GOP presidential poll

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After Carly Fiorina earned nearly universal praise as the big winner of last week’s Republican Presidential debate from the Reagan Library, the big question was whether that praise would translate into a bump in her poll ratings, which have languished in the lower tier this year.

The answer to that is a definitive yes.

According to a new CNN/ORC poll released Sunday morning, Donald Trump continues to lead the field with 24 percent, but Florina is now in second place with 15 percent. That’s an 8-percentage point drop for Trump since last month in the CNN poll, where he was at 32 percent. And it’s a a 12-percentage point rise for Fiorina, who a month ago was sitting with just 3 percent support.

Her rise in the poll is directly related to her performance in Simi Valley – 52 percent tell CNN pollsters that Fiorina won the debate, while 31 percent say Trump was the loser in that three-hour affair.

Ben Carson is right behind Fiorina with 14 percent in the poll. However, that’s a five-percentage point drop for him from last month.

The second big winner in the poll is Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who comes in fourth with 11 percent. A month ago, he was at just 3 percent in the CNN poll.

In fifth place is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at 9 percent. He’s followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 6 percent each, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 4 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 1 percent.

Shockingly, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is now at less than 1 percent in this poll, where he shares the bottom ranking with former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal,  and former New York Gov. George Pataki,

Ben Carson remains the most popular candidate in the GOP field, with 65 percent of Republican voters saying they view him favorably, compared with just 10 percent. saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the retired neurosurgeon.

Rubio ranks second in the popularity contest, with 57 percent viewing him favorably and 16 percent unfavorably. He’s followed by Fiorina (54% favorable to 17% unfavorable), Huckabee (53% to 28% unfavorable), Cruz (52% to 22%) and Trump (52% to 40%).

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted September 17-19 and surveyed 1,006 adult Americans, including 924 registered voters — 444 of whom are Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP. The margin of error with the Republican results is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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