Here's Why Carly Fiorina Is Fading Fast

Analysis: She may have been a 'paper tiger' created by the media
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2015 1:45 PM CDT
Here's Why Carly Fiorina Is Fading Fast, in the Polls
Carly Fiorina is fading fast in the polls.   (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

A CNN poll out Tuesday has bad news for Carly Fiorina: In one month, she's gone from 15% to 4% and slipped from second place into a tie for seventh. Her support seems to be cratering even as support for the other two "outsider" candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, is rising. What's going on? For one thing, the GOP hasn't had a debate in weeks, and that's where Fiorina has shined, writes David Graham at the Atlantic. She's also struggled to get what Graham calls "earned media," or consistent attention in the press. "It’s also possible, though, that Fiorina’s support was never really there, that she was a paper tiger erected by the press," writes Graham. "She doesn’t seem to have a natural constituency, doesn’t have much establishment support, and doesn’t have the same mix of charisma and outlandish comments that has boosted Trump."

At the Christian Science Monitor, Peter Grier writes that Fiorina has gone through a classic cycle of an underdog candidate—"discovery, scrutiny, and decline." Her performance in the debates got her discovered, but then negative headlines followed about her tenure as CEO at Hewlett-Packard and then over allegations that she exaggerated the content of Planned Parenthood videos. But here's the upside for Fiorina backers: "The 'decline' part of the new candidate cycle does not have to be permanent," writes Grier. "Some hopefuls survive the scrutiny phase, take some lumps, and then rise again." Considering that Fiorina got a big fundraising bump during her rise in the polls and has $5.5 million on hand, she has a chance to do just that. Click for Grier's full column, or for Graham's. (More Carly Fiorina 2016 stories.)

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