Carly Fiorina's performance in the precursor forum was lauded by both pundits and viewers, but the big question is whether it'll be enough to boost her numbers to put her in the big leagues. So will Carly Fiorina be in the next prime-time debate? If all goes well, the former HP CEO has a very real shot at going toe to toe with the GOP front-runners in the next debate.
Cohosted by CNN and the Reagan Foundation, the next Republican debate is scheduled for Sept. 16 and will take place at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. The rules for the second debate are largely similar to what you saw Thursday during Fox News' showdowns — the top 10 candidates (based on national polling) will be featured in the main debate, while the remaining candidates will be siphoned off in a separate event. CNN is also requiring that those who rank outside the top 10 must have at least 1 percent of the GOP vote.
Fiorina entered Thursday near the bottom of the pack with 1.3 percent of the GOP vote, but don't let that low number fool you. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who barely made the cut for the prime-time debate, went in with just 2.8 percent of Republicans' support. If Fiorina doubles her standing in national polls, she could find herself in the top 10 in just a short month, sharing the same stage with Trump and Jeb Bush, both of whom she gave sharp digs during her debate.
Already her strong and deft handling of tough issues like the Iran deal and ISIS has given her much-needed attention. Google christened her the most searched candidate in 48 states. Twitter users pronounced her winner of her forum, and she even found herself in the main debate after Fox News played a clip of her comments on Iran to set up a question.
But other candidates like Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry are also hoping to crack the top 10, and Fiorina will need to ride this small boost in popularity to edge them out. The pressure is on her team to strategize more effective ways to raise her national profile in the next month, and all eyes will be on Fiorina.