Since the sign-off of the CNN debate last week, the political chattering classes have been speculating about the future of Donald Trump. Has he finally hit a peak, followed by an inevitable decline? There has been a lot of (possibly wishful) punditry to the effect that Trump’s lackluster debate performance could represent a turning point in his campaign.
A CNN poll done shortly after the debate seemed to confirm those suggestions, showing Trump, who is No. 1 in the Washington Examiner’s presidential power rankings, falling from 32 percent before the debate to 24 percent after. But polls taken soon after a debate — the CNN poll was begun the day after — fail to measure the natural evolution of opinion that occurs as the event sinks in with voters in the days that follow.
Now, a new Fox News poll, taken Sept. 20-22, suggests Trump’s post-debate lead over the Republican field is stable. The poll has Trump at 26 percent — a one-point up tick from the last Fox poll that closed on August 13. In the new survey, Ben Carson is in second place at 18 percent, with Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio at 9 percent, Ted Cruz at 8 percent, and Jeb Bush at seven percent.