As we previously discussed, I wasn’t going to place a lot of stock in the various online polls which have been ringing up since the big debate, preferring to wait until some of the live phone interview surveys from the national brands started coming in. Today, as is so often the case, I got the first hint of just one such sample when Mark Halperin (sorry..) tweeted a screen shot.

FoxPoll

Looking at the numbers (not to mention the source) I had to hit the Googles just to make sure I wasn’t being trolled, but it turned out to be real. The predicted, imminent political demise of Donald Trump has continued to stretch – if not fracture – the definition of “imminent.” His numbers have dropped by a shocking one point… well within the margin of error. He’s also still more than doubling his nearest rival, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz is the only other one in double digits. (And just barely at that… from Fox news.)

Businessman Donald Trump still leads the field for the Republican nomination. He gets 25 percent among GOP primary voters. He was at 26 percent before the debate. Trump’s support among women went from 24 percent two weeks ago to 21 percent now. He mostly held steady among men (28 percent).

The real-estate mogul maintains his first-place status despite also being judged in the poll as having the worst debate performance and being considered the least likeable Republican candidate…

On the Democratic side, Clinton drops below 50 percent for the first time, while Sanders keeps climbing. She leads among Democratic primary voters by 19 points (49-30 percent). Two weeks ago Clinton was up by 29 points (51-22 percent). A month ago she had a 40-point advantage (59-19 percent).

Vice President Joe Biden, who is undeclared, receives the backing of 10 percent.

You can read the full results and metrics here and there are some goodies buried below the top line primary race numbers.

The Trump factor is real. Let’s just put that one to bed right off the top. Anyone who hasn’t found out about the debate by now is probably six feet under and won’t be voting unless it’s the Democrat primary around either Chicago or Philadelphia. His “mistakes” at the debate (which he flatly denied having at the fair yesterday) haven’t cut into his support in any measurable way. Ben Carson is doing amazingly well for somebody who doesn’t even seem to be actively running. The big movers among the “winners” are clearly Cruz and Fiorina. The interesting thing at the bottom end of the scale is the tail end of the top ten. This is only one sample which will have to be averaged in with others in the month left before the next debate, but if these numbers were to hold, Rand Paul would be moving down to the kids table while Fiorina took to the main stage. Of course, the current list still has Chris Christie in the number ten slot and rumors keep coming out of the Garden State that he may be dropping out soon, so that could rescue Rand anyway.

Hillary’s numbers have to be causing some alarm inside Fort Clinton. She’s still solidly in first, but on June 23 she was still at 61%. She’s now below 50 for the first time and Sanders has sucked up pretty much all of that margin. Meanwhile, her old boss isn’t faring much better. In this survey, Barack Obama had actually struggled up to a 47% approval rating one month ago, but since then he’s slipped back down five points. This seems to be a Democrat trend across the board.

There’s one last item buried well down in the results which I’d like to share and yes, it seems to tie into the Trump Effect as well without mentioning him by name. Check this out.

Poll35

Make sure you read the wording of that question carefully. (It’s on page 12 of the full results linked above, question 35.) They’re not asking about what we should do with illegal aliens who are deported, then come back into the country and murder or rape someone. They’re just asking what to do if the illegals simply cross the border a second time. A majority now favor a lengthy mandatory prison sentence. I’m not saying this is an ideal solution to the problem because then we still wind up housing and feeding them until they are inevitably released again, but still… Trump has stirred up a hornet’s nest around the country regarding an important issue. People are waking up to this more so than in the recent past and they are angry about it.