Earlier this evening, the seven Republican candidates who didn’t make it into the top ten primetime debate squared off from the same debate stage in Cleveland, Ohio. The debate aired at 5pm ET for a little over an hour. It was viewed as a “warm-up” for the main event that could give the lower tier candidates a chance to bump up their poll numbers with some national exposure.
Here is the entire video of the secondary debate for the seven candidates outside the top 10. This debate aired at 5pm ET on Thursday, August 6, 2015:
Moderators: Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer
Candidates: Perry, Santorum, Jindal, Fiorina, Graham, Pataki, Gilmore
From most accounts, Carly Fiorina came out on top. A report from Mediaite confirms that she won the night in terms of Google searches following the debate:
Just moments after Fox News’ 5 p.m. “undercard” debate wrapped up, Google Trends published a graphic that revealed which candidate likely benefitted the most from tonight’s event. In 48 out of 50 states, Carly Fiorina was the most-searched candidate on the stage:
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) August 6, 2015
As one of the lesser-known figures in the crowded field — and the only woman — Fiorina evidently struck a chord with a large percentage of people watching. Only Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry managed to rise to the top in two states, Louisiana and Alaska, respectively.
Fiorina began the debate by defending comparisons that have been made between her and “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, continued on to attack Donald Trump for his cozy relationship with the Clintons and finished with a closing statement that went after Hillary Clinton hard.
If any candidate is going to get a bump in the polls following this lower-tier debate, there is a very good chance it will be Carly Fiorina.
Whether or not Fiorina, or any of the others outside the top 10, get enough of a bump to make it into the September 16 Republican debate remains to be seen.