Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is Republican women’s top choice, a new straw poll of those attending the National Federation of Republican Women’s recent convention in Phoenix, Arizona, from KellyAnne Conway’s the Polling Company shows.
A whopping 27 percent of respondents at the event said that Fiorina is their first choice in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) came in second place with 20 percent, Dr. Ben Carson placed third with 16 percent, and billionaire businessman Donald Trump came in fourth with 14 percent. More establishment-minded Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich lagged in the poll, earning six percent, five percent, four percent and four percent respectively.
Conway, the pollster who uncovered these results, said this data is an “indictment” of the Washington political class and centrists in the D.C. establishment.
“It is an indictment of the centrist Establishment types and shows how the MSM misread GOP women,” Conway said in an email. “We are hardcore badasses focused on Common Core, not contraception!”
Fiorina and Cruz both spoke at the conference, as did former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s wife, Janet, while Trump, Carson and Walker sent recorded video remarks to be played at the event. Kasich and Bush both sent surrogates, Iowa State Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa and Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) respectively.
Fiorina is set to appear on the main debate stage in the upcoming CNN debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, after CNN and the Republican National Committee (RNC) brokered a deal to ensure she would be on stage since the original polling criteria that came out wouldn’t have accurately captured where the GOP field is at this time.
Perhaps more interesting than Fiorina’s breakout lead in this straw poll is the fact that it found most of the respondents—871 of the 1056 conference attendees, an 82 percent participation rate—are not locked in with their first choice candidate. Only 38 percent of all respondents are firmly committed to their candidate, while 59 percent said they may change their minds and 3 percent were unsure.
Among the four outsider candidates—Trump, Carson, Cruz and Fiorina—Trump and Fiorina supporters were more likely to be open to changing their minds. Thirty-five percent of Fiorina voters were firmly committed to her, while 62 percent may change their minds and three percent were unsure. Thirty-seven percent of Trump supporters were firmly committed to him, while 61 percent may change their minds and two percent were unsure. Cruz and Carson have stronger cores, with 46 percent saying they’re firmly committed to Cruz and 43 percent saying they are firmly committed to Carson.
Fiorina’s spike in this straw poll directly correlates with her recent call, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News—something she’s echoed on the campaign trail—to remove Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as U.S. Senate Majority Leader for their lack of results.
“I think leadership’s job is to produce results, and when leaders don’t produce results, they need to step aside,” Fiorina said:
So, I think, I share the frustration of so many people who worked hard to create these majorities. I think there are three key things that leadership needs to do, and if they can’t do them they need to step aside. Number one, they need to pass a border security bill. For heaven’s sake, our border has been insecure for 25 years. There are loads of conservative proposals for how to secure the border. This isn’t rocket science. Pass a border security bill. We have the majority to do it. Second, pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The majority of Americans agree abortion for any reason after 20 weeks is wrong. Defund Planned Parenthood. We have the majorities to do that. And finally, I’d like to see them pass the REINS Act, which has been languishing in Congress and says Congress has to have a vote on some of the regulations that keep rolling out of the White House that are crushing economic opportunity. Congress hasn’t done anything about it. Those are three things that leadership can do, should do, and if they won’t do it then I think it’s time for them to step aside.