Memo: Carly’s Fall in the Polls
Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433
TO: Interested Parties
DATE: October 22, 2015
Three new polls show that Carly Fiorina’s lies about Planned Parenthood are not popular with the American people.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal showed her at 7% -- down from 11% in mid- September in the same poll. Additionally, a new Fox News poll shows Carly Fiorina’s numbers dipping 4 points over the span of a month. And then yesterday, a CNN poll showed a more drastic fall to 4% -- just 30 days ago she was at 15% in the same poll. In just a month, she fell from second place to a crowded tie for seventh, according to the same CNN poll.
This dramatic plummet in the polls has led many to try to pinpoint where Fiorina’s campaign fell apart -- homing in on her obsessive vendetta against Planned Parenthood as a possible tipping point.
To recap, Carly Fiorina flat-out lied about Planned Parenthood during the Republican presidential primary debate on September 16. She described, in theatrical detail, a video that even the maker of the video smear campaign agrees simply does not exist. When multiple media fact-checkers called her out for lying, instead of apologizing she doubled down. Finally, in an an attempt to bend reality to Fiorina’s platform, her campaign created a fake video to match her story. It didn’t work out well.
“Even after fact-checkers concluded the video footage Fiorina described did not exist, she doubled down on her claims in the days following the debate.
“Instead of using her moment in the spotlight to discuss a range of issues and further introduce herself to voters, she instead trained her focus on Planned Parenthood.
"‘They had this moment and in some ways reduced it by not taking a broader, frankly, more presidential focus,’ said Rob Stutzman, a California-based Republican strategist. ‘They weren't prepared for the moment they fought so hard for.’”
“Mid-September was a heady time for Carly Fiorina: she did pretty great in the second GOP debate, and subsequently saw a huge surge in the polls. That’s all gone now, probably because she lied and lied and lied some more about Planned Parenthood, and everybody noticed.”
“...she wouldn’t admit that she’d been caught in a misstatement. Instead, her PAC released its own would-be Planned Parenthood video. Then she went on Meet the Press and continued to insist she wasn’t wrong.”
“Remember Carly Fiorina? It now seems forever ago, but in late September she was being heralded as the next big thing in the Republican primary field—the outsider candidate who could marshall establishment support, and finally slay the Trump dragon.”
“Fiorina pulled something similar off when she insisted she’d seen a video taken at a Planned Parenthood that did not exist, but that moment passed, and she hasn’t created another.”
“Fiorina surged to second place immediately following her debate performance, but that same debate performance could now be contributing to her decline. During the debate, Fiorina focused on Planned Parenthood and made claims about seeing an abortion video that fact-checkers later revealed did not exist.”
“Fiorina was also caught up in a discussion about abortion at the time of her debate rise. Her passionate criticism of Planned Parenthood thrilled many conservative voters. But Democrats and some fact-checkers questioned whether her description of a video that alleged abuses on the part of the group was accurate.”
“For Fiorina, the problem might not have been this controversy per se, but the fact that it chewed up time and attention she might better have spent on other things.”
“Carly Fiorina′s swell of support after her strong debate performance last month has collapsed, according to a new CNN/ORC poll that showed rivals Donald J. Trump and Ben Carson benefiting from her waning popularity.”
“Unless many candidates drop out soon and she can distinguish herself in the field it will be very difficult to do well in early primary states.”
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.