“New Data” Shows Nothing’s Really New

As a follow-up to this morning’s post about the whole hep political world searching for “new data” to show Donald Trump is on a fast train to Palookaville after the CNN debate, there now is some “new data,” but it’s not going to much cheer the Trump-hating Republican Establishment.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina won Wednesday’s second Republican presidential debate, according to voters who watched the Simi Valley showdown polled by Morning Consult.

It was a performance that vaulted Fiorina into the top tier of a crowded field. A plurality of 29 percent of registered voters who watched the debate said Fiorina won, just higher than the 24 percent who said real estate mogul Donald Trump came out on top. Seven percent said retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson won the debate, while 6 percent each chose former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

But here’s the catch:

Trump continues to lead the Republican primary field. Thirty-six percent of registered voters who watched the debate said they would choose Trump, compared with 12 percent for Carson and 10 percent for Fiorina. Rubio placed fourth, at 9 percent, followed by 7 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 6 percent for Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).

So Carly’s boom really just means that now 58% of respondents support a candidate with zero experience in public office. And that’s among the people who actually watched the supposedly Trump-destroying debate.

We’ll see what later polls say, but for the present the idea things are about to return to normal and voters will sagely choose between “real candidates” Bush and Rubio and Kasich looks no closer to reality than before.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.