A newly released poll shows the GOP primary race is tightening.
Before the debate, Donald Trump led the GOP field with 26%. An August 9-10th Rasmussen poll shows that his debate performance and perhaps his comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly may have done some damage.
In late July, Trump earned 30% of the male vote and had 22% support among women. He now earns 19% and 14% support from these two groups.
The results show the formation of three main tiers.
GOP Tier One: Aiming for the top spot
Trump, Rubio, Bush, Walker and Fiorina make up the top tier which includes candidates that could easily make the top spot in future weeks. Rubio and Fiorina are the rising stars in this group and may benefit in coming weeks as news outlets increasingly seek interviews and contributors fill their coffers.
GOP Tier Two: Sinking and Rising, but still in the mix
Carson, Cruz, Kasich, Paul and Huckabee fill out a second tier of candidates hoping to break out. While Carson saw a good uptick after the debate, the others are struggling to pull in support, but have not lost any ground. Huckabee could easily be on his way to the bottom tier if his message doesn’t strike a chord with voters soon.
GOP Tier Three: Running out of money, time and support
The lowest tier need something to happen quickly or fund-raising will become impossible in the coming weeks. Gilmore, Perry, Graham, Santorum, Jindal and Pataki. Just yesterday, it was reported that Perry can no longer pay his staffers. Every member of this group saw a reduction in support in this poll with the exception of Jim Gilmore who went from 0% to 1%.