An NBC News poll taken after the Republican debate revealed some bad news for Fox News. All of their favorite establishment candidates lost support while the lunatic fringe led by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson rose to the top three positions.
The new Republican top seven are:
Post-Debate Poll (NBC) Trump 23% Cruz 13% Carson 11% Fiorina 8% Rubio 8% Bush 7% Walker 7% That's quite a 1, 2, 3…
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 9, 2015
Marco Rubio was the only Fox News favored candidate to remain in the top 5, and he had one-third the amount of support of Donald Trump. Fiorina wasn’t even invited to the main debate, but her performance in the early debate vaulted her into the top five.
What is most telling is that the top three slots are being occupied by candidates who have no chance in a general election. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson are the kind of candidates that Republican voters adore, but who would get crushed in November. Fox News was especially gentle with Rubio, Bush, and Walker. Rubio maintained his position of single-digit support among voters while Bush and Walker lost support.
The intention behind the Fox News debate was to build up the “electable” Republican candidates while getting rid of Donald Trump and ignoring the other fringe campaigns. Fox News failed on both counts. Instead of rallying their troops behind someone who could win, Fox gave momentum to the far right.
Donald Trump’s post debate support is about the same as it was before the Megyn Kelly fiasco. If the goal was to get rid of Trump, the numbers from NBC’s scientific Internet survey indicate that they didn’t get the job done. Bush and Walker were like oatmeal and cream of wheat on the debate stage. Dull doesn’t even begin to describe their lackluster performances, so it is no surprise they were not a hit with viewers.
Fox News might have helped the Republican Party lose the election by trying to pick the nominee for voters. Fox may guide the Republican Party, but the inmates are running the asylum.