Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Will Carly Fiorina Be Excluded From the Debates?


Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Since launching her campaign for president, Carly Fiorina has not been afraid to throw punches, especially at Hillary Clinton. Now we have the opportunity to see her throw a few more. Fiorina has pledged to “throw punches” at her GOP rivals on the debate stage.

By now, most are aware of the new rules regarding the debates: Only the top ten candidates based on an average of the national polls will be invited to participate in the main debates, while those outside the top ten will be eligible to participate in a separate debate. Based on the most recent average of polls, according to RealClearPolitics, Fiorina currently sits in 11th place, right behind Donald Trump, and would be excluded from that stage. As a result, she would be relegated to debating the George Patakis of the race in the second tier debate.

This would be a shame, as Fiorina is easily one of the most exciting outsider prospects to run for president in quite a while. Unlike other outsiders, Fiorina is polished and refined and has avoided making any serious gaffes. She has been unafraid to speak about tough issues including abortion and immigration, and she has done so in an unapologetic manner. Additionally, she has made transparency a key component of her campaign. In response to questions surrounding her financial situation, Fiorina decided to release detailed financial disclosures.

Fiorina has been receiving a markedly positive response from voters, though unfortunately, that response has not translated into significant support, at least in terms of polling numbers. However, the Fiorina campaign has recently received encouraging news. A recent Wall Street Journal poll showed Fiorina, along with Huckabee and Carson, gaining significant ground with voters:

The share of Republican primary voters who said they were open to supporting Ms. Fiorina, a former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., jumped from 17% in April to 31% in June, about even with the 29% who said they weren’t open to supporting her.

At the same time, Donald Trump, who would take the 10th and final spot on the debate stage if current numbers hold, evoked a highly negative response: Two out of three respondents said they wouldn’t even consider voting for Trump.

There’s still time for Fiorina to translate the buzz surrounding her candidacy into real support, but with the August debates fast approaching, that time is running out. So far, she is making moves in the right direction, and I look forward to seeing her throwing a few more punches.

Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action.

Joshua Pinho

Joshua Pinho is a Digital Communications Associate for the American Principles Project.

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