Fiorina, Rubio Are Big Winners of Second Debate

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As usual, I’m more interested in which candidates are moving up and down than in which candidates are ahead—with one exception that I’ll get to. After all, it’s still more than four months before the first primary ballot is cast.

A new CNN/ORC poll shows that there were two clear winners from Wednesday’s debate: Fiorina and Rubio. Trump was the biggest loser. And Scott Walker? I’ll make an exception for him. Not only was he down five points, but he was down five points from his previous level of five percent. In other words, his absolute level of support is now officially zero. This has to be one of the fastest, most dramatic flameouts of a top-tier candidate ever.

Trump, Fiorina, and Carson are now the top three candidates, but I simply don’t give any of them much chance of winning. So the next three are more interesting: Rubio, Bush, and Cruz. Of those, Rubio is not only in the lead, he’s the only one who gained any ground this week. This makes him officially one of the front runners, and should mean that he starts getting a lot more attention. We’ll see whether that’s good or bad for him.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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