What happened to Carly Fiorina? After great performances in the first two Republican debates vaulted her into third place behind the front-runners Trump and Carson, she’s gone AWOL. The media has all but forgotten about the only woman running for the Republican nomination.
After her middling third debate showing, the one-time media darling will be fighting for her political life in tonight’s fourth GOP debate sponsored by Fox Financial Network and the Wall Street Journal.
Fiorina, along with Trump and Carson, are the only candidates who are true Washington outsiders. But unlike Trump and Carson, Fiorina has not been able to exploit her political inexperience.
Fiorina’s claim to fame has always been her business acumen. But as her profile grew, thanks to a cooperative media that needed a new story other than Trump or Carson, so did scrutiny of her stint as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The picture presented by the media of the rising political star soon became that of a failed corporate executive.
Without a new narrative to take its place, her political fortunes took a dramatic turn for the worse. The most recent polling has Fiorina in the middle of the Republican presidential pack, in the low single digits, along with second-tier candidates Kasich, Paul and Huckabee.
Another possible reason for Fiorina’s dramatic fall from grace among Republican voters could be the simple fact that she is a she. While Americans have become dramatically more willing to elect a female president over the last quarter-century, there still remains some reluctance, especially among Republicans, as YouGov found in March.
Whatever the reason(s) for her collapse, look for a feisty Fiorina to come out swinging among the field of seven men who will be looking to land some punches of their own.
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