Donald Trump’s honeymoon period with potential voters may finally be ending, as his poll numbers displayed a slight drop following last week’s Republican debate. Trump’s characteristically brash attitude that evening was more subdued, but it is uncertain whether that is due to an intentional shift to a more serious tone by the candidate, or a result of campaign fatigue.
With Trump leading at 25%, his top two contenders for the nomination, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, both saw their poll numbers rise to 17% and 12%, respectively. The Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday showed Jeb Bush coming in fourth at 10%.
Speaking at a rally on Wednesday, one of Trump’s supporters noticed his more subdued manner in last week’s debate, “I wanted him to be more forceful. I wanted him to shut them down.”
Because Trump didn’t have the edge of being the wild card as he did in the first debate, the other contenders were more prepared for his confrontational statements. Carly Fiorina was able to gain much applause when she responded to Trump’s “look at that face” comment he had made in the days leading up to the debate.
Political pundits have long referred to Trump’s campaign as a circus, or sideshow, only to see his polls continue to rise throughout the summer. Similarly, the numerous Republican candidates still in contention for the nomination often refer to him as an unserious candidate, and that voters will soon calm down and put their support behind someone “serious.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently stepped out of the race and made a plea that other low-polling candidates do the same, so that Trump’s closest opponents can gain some points.
Trump countered the claims that interest in his campaign was waning by citing competing polls such as Zogby, NBC, and Reuters.