Carly Fiorina was the clear winner of the early Republican presidential debate–at least according to social media.
The former Hewlett Packard CEO joined six other contenders who failed to qualify for the evening’s main event, which is restricted to the top ten candidates in recent polls. However, her performance in the undercard event generated a great deal of online enthusiasm.
Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com weighed in:
Carly Fiorina’s crushing it so far, based on Google search traffic. http://t.co/lGFrZqoyLY
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 6, 2015
Carly is gnarly. #GOPDebate
— Joanne Nosuchinsky (@JoNosuchinsky) August 6, 2015
Twitter search “winner AND debate” and find much love for Carly Fiorina. #GOPdebate — Jeff Simon (@jjsimonCNN) August 6, 2015
Without comment or fact-checking on substance, Carly Fiorina has seemed most in command–to the extent anyone can in this format. #GOPDebate — Jackie Calmes (@calmesnyt) August 6, 2015
Even fellow debate participants agreed. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed to suggestthat Fiorina would make a better Secretary of State than John Kerry:
Rick Perry says he’d rather have Carly Fiorina negotiating the Iranian deal that John Kerry. A nice compliment across the stage #GOPDebate — Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 6, 2015
Among Fiorina’s strongest answers were her responses on the Iran deal and how she would face cybersecurity threats America faces from Russia and China
“We need to be very well aware of the fact that China and Russia are using technology to attack us, just as ISIS is using technology to recruit those who would murder American citizens. I do not believe that we need to wholesale destroy every American citizen’s privacy in order to go after those that we know are suspect or are — are already a problem,” she said.
Twitter gave her an A-rating:
Jindall and Fiorina are the only two that stand out in the opening act #GOPDebate
— ♛ (@bg440_) August 6, 2015
Fiorina killed it on that answer. I underestimated her persuasive skills. She just about convinced me for a hypothetical WW3 #GOPDebate — Daniel Tellez (@danieltellezjr) August 6, 2015
#GOPDebate Loving Fiorina. Smart and on point!
— Casandra Styles. (@LittleLadyCassy) August 6, 2015
1st place Fiorina. 2nd place Jindal. #GOPDebates — GiMiller (@Lisa_Luerssen) August 6, 2015
She’s owning this. #Fiorina #GOPDebate https://t.co/HD57sefyGA
— Tracy Downey (@msgoddessrises) August 6, 2015
Carly Fiorina is winning this!!! #GOPDebate
— ~Melissa~ (@myontosh) August 6, 2015
Fiorina is shining, Perry talks about border control, and Santorum is surprising me. #GOPDebate
— Ashley Stroud (@astroud7) August 6, 2015
Fiorina has substance; not to be underestimated #GOPDebate — Tiffany Easter (@TiffanyEaster) August 6, 2015
Game. Set. Match = Carly Fiorina. Overwhelming performance. #GOPDebate — Bean Counter (@TNBeanCounter) August 6, 2015
Update: Chris Wallace, Charles Krauthammer and George Will of Fox News–which hosted the debate along with Facebook–both agreed in their post-debate analysis. Fox News’ Bret Baier concurred that social media had reflected a big win for Fiorina.
Fox News’ snap poll indicated that 82% of viewers thought Fiorina won. As Sarah Rumpf notes:
Fox News viewers agreed with the people appearing on their television sets. In a flash poll taken after the debate, Fiorina was the overwhelming favorite. About two hours after the debate ended, a whopping 82 percent said that Fiorina won the debate. Left in her dust were former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) at 7 percent, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) at 6 percent, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at 2 percent, and former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) and former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA) at 1 percent.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.
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