Even after threatening Megyn Kelly during the debate and then on Twitter afterwards, Donald Trump is still leading in the polls by double digits. An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll asked voters who they would vote for if the Republican primary was held today. 23 percent of those polled said Trump, while Ted Cruz came in a distant second with 13 percent.
Primary voters were also asked what they thought of Trump’s hint that he would run as an independent were he not to win the Republican nomination. 54 percent said they would still vote for him. About 20 percent said they would switch allegiance and vote for the Republican nominee.
Carly Fiorina also got a boost from the debate, even though she participated in the not-ready-for-primetime version of it. Voters said she won the debate overall, and 8 percent said they would vote for her, making her the second highest gainer compared to previous polls.
Could the negative publicity generated from the debate have helped Trump? The timing of the poll suggests so, as NBC News reports: “The overnight poll was conducted for 24 hours from Friday evening into Saturday. During that period, Donald Trump stayed in the headlines due to his negative comments about Kelly and was dis-invited from a major conservative gathering in Atlanta.”