Trump Leads GOP; Fiorina, Carson Surge in First Post-Debate Poll

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A new NBC News poll provides the first glimpse of the Republican race following the Fox News debate on Thursday.

The survey, conducted Friday and Saturday, finds Donald Trump holding his lead with 23 percent support among Republican primary voters. This is consistent with a Gravis Marketing poll taken after the debate, where 19 percent of Republicans said Trump won the debate.

The Gravis poll found that more Republicans, 22 percent, felt Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and political rookie, won the debate. In the NBC poll, Carson surged into third place in the nomination contest, earning 11 percent support.

Texas Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the second choice in the NBC Poll, receiving support from 13 percent of Republican voters. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was fourth, with 11 percent, following her widely recognized domination of the “undercard” debate earlier Thursday evening.

The exact breakdown and percentage of the first seven spots in the NBC poll are: Trump (23), Cruz (13), Carson (11), Fiorina (8), Rubio (8), Bush (7) and Walker (7).

In other words, the highest poll ranking of a candidate acceptable to the Republicans in D.C. is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), in fifth place with just 8 percent. This is stunning considering the obvious attacks on Trump by Fox moderators, the limited number of questions offered to Cruz and Carson and the relegation of Fiorina to a non-prime time debate slot.

In the post-debate analysis, Fox News roundly criticized Trump and heaped praise on Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a former Fox News anchor.

Obviously the NBC News poll is the first of many post-debate polls and the nomination contest is still in its very early days.

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