On Sep. 16, 2015, CNN held the second GOP presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
The debate, a three hours long discourse on some of the issues currently afflicting the United States, and seen by some 23 million, was moderated by Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, Dana Bash, CNN’s chief political correspondent, and Hugh Hewitt, Professor of Law at Chapman University and voice of The Hewitt Show.
Initially, the debate was to feature the top 10 candidates vying to be the Republican front runner in the upcoming presidential election, but in light of polls following the previous debate was adjusted to include Carly Fiorina who has held consistent gains in the last couple of weeks. Here is a recap of the eleven candidates, their current standings in the poll conducted by CNN in conjunction with ORC International in the days following the debate, and their performance: Trump, leading with 24% support, is down 8% from earlier polls, perhaps in light of Carli Fiorina, coming in at 15% support, up from 3% earlier this month.
The two had several heated exchanges at the hands of the moderators, one at the incitement of Tapper who said, “Miss Fiorina, I do want to ask you about this, in an interview last week in Rolling Stone, Donald Trump said the following about you. Quote: ‘Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?’ Mr. Trump later said he was talking about your persona, not your appearance. Please feel free to respond [with] what you think about his persona.”
Fiorina responded to Trump’s statement in kind, remarking: “You know it’s interesting to me, Mr. Trump said that he heard Mr. Bush very clearly on what Mr. Bush said. I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said” to the applause of the audience.
With Trump and Fiorina being the leading two Republican candidates, Ben Carson is in a close third with 14% based on the survey and Sen. Marco Rubio close behind with 11% support.
The shift in support from Trump to Fiorina makes the race close, with only 13% between himself and the next top three candidates.
Following the top four are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 9%, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee at 6% and Paul Rand at 4%. Chris Christie came in at 3%, John Kasich at 2% and Rick Santorum is at 1%.
The survey conducted by CNN that provides the results is based on a little over a thousand potential voters nationwide, some registered and some not, and is not necessarily a representative dataset of the 23 million viewers of the debate and their opinions of the candidate.
To see the three hour debate, it is available in full online from CNN, as well as access to the survey from which the polling information is derived.