Even Trump’s nonsupporters think he will win debateOctober 27, 2015 | By Fluent
Publication date 10/23/15
While Ben Carson and Donald Trump lead the Republican polls, even more people expect them to win the next debate. That’s setting the bar high for two outsiders who have already defied conventional logic by maintaining their positions this long.
Think about that: Not only do Trump and Carson hold a commanding lead among polled respondents, but even the people who don’tsupport them think that Trump and Carson will win the next debate. That’s a big sigh of defeatism from supporters of other candidates.
The candidate with the dimmest debate prospects: Jeb Bush. His past debate performances and “low energy” attacks from Trump have damaged his standing. Bush has the biggest negative difference in overall support compared to expected debate outcome. That means Bush’s own supporters think he is going to lose the next debate. It’s even worse than that — people who are currently undecided among candidates also think Bush is going to lose.
It’s a bad sign when the people who haven’t even picked sides expect so little from you. Yet it may be part of the Bush family playbook. His brother George W. Bush used low debate expectations to later surprise the public when he was able to hang in there with a decent outcome, making him seem much better than people thought originally.
While Carly Fiorina had a quick rise after her two great debate efforts, that shine may have rubbed off. She has slightly higher expected debate outperformance compared with her usual support — but nowhere close to Trump’s and Carson’s levels.
But the high expectations for Trump and Carson could hurt them if they don’t perform to such lofty predictions.
Fiorina’s record as a business leader has not sold the public either. Most people don’t know enough of her record to have an opinion: Sixty percent of respondents aren’t sure what to make of the former Hewlett-Packard CEO. Of the ones who do have a view, the positive skew is barely there: 21 percent to 18 percent.
Contrast that with Trump. More than 70 percent of people do have a view on his business record, and it’s overwhelmingly positive, by a 2-1 ratio. Forty-six percent positive, 24 percent negative. With only 29 percent not sure.