Make no mistake, Carly Fiorina made her mark at the Reagan Library last night. The businesswoman, who has no prior political experience, proved she was not intimidated to stand on the same stage as an all-male group of 2016 GOP contenders, which included governors, senators, and yes, Trump. A Hillsdale College focus group was impressed:
Hillsdale College focus group: 3/15 students were Carly supporters coming into the evening. 14 of 15 said she won the debate. #GOPDebate— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 17, 2015
"She absolutely broke through," senior Christy Allen told radio host Mike Gallagher on Salem Radio Network following the debate, adding that Fiorina appeared "calm, confident, and poised." The undergrad said she'd "love to see her debate Hillary Clinton one day."
Before the debate, CNN amended its polling criteria to allow the lone female Republican candidate to join the "big kids" discussion. It appeared to be the right decision:
“Chris Christie had a great performance tonight, but Carly Fiorina did something really special," Allen said. "There is no question she belonged in that debate, and she went a long way in showing that she belongs in the White House.”
Connor Dwinell, a Hillsdale junior, agreed, saying Fiorina was a "firecracker" who won the debate by a "landslide."
“Carly Fiorina won in a landslide. If I wasn’t absolutely in her camp before, I am now. If you are looking for a firecracker and someone who is going to stick it to the man, I would move out of Donald Trump’s camp and into Carly’s.”
Other students were impressed by the businesswoman's foreign policy bravado:
"I was also blown away by Carly Fiorina and her commitment to defend America from its enemies abroad and restore its culture from internal decay," said senior Bailey Amaral. "We have an American Thatcher on our hands. Fiorina won’t back down.”
The millennial vote will be a key pickup in next year's election. Fiorina should be pleased that young people are noticing her fortitude and are being receptive to her bold, unapologetic conservative message.