Fiorina and Carson have seen the strongest gains among Republicans since the survey was taken a month ago. In the interim, voters have had their first extended looks at the candidates in two nationally televised debates. Fiorina’s numbers, at 1 percent in the August poll, leaped by 10 percentage points while Carson jumped 11 percentage points, up from 5 percent. Trump’s numbers have remained unchanged. Together, the three candidates who have never held political office account for 48 percent of the Republican vote…

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the youngest candidate in the field and an impassioned speaker, has made an impression on voters. His 60 percent favorability rating was second only to Carson’s 68 percent. Fiorina, a relative novice to the national stage, matched Bush, the son and brother of presidents, at 57 percent.

“She’s very articulate, has great control, is intelligent,” said Paula Gartside, a 50-year-old paralegal and substitute teacher in Pennsylvania who is supporting Fiorina after being impressed by her last debate performance. “I don’t think she pulls any punches. What you see is what you get.”