By Thomas Madison

Notwithstanding Fox News’ shameless attack on Donald Trump, his lead not only remained solid, but increased by 1% to 23%. Ted Cruz surged to second place, now at 13%, apparently (my opinion) being rewarded for not only being one of the few Republicans to refuse to participate in the Trump bashfest, but the only Republican to openly praise The Donald for his stand on critical issues, including illegal immigration.

According to the NBC News Online Survey (below), released minutes ago, Carly Fiorina moved up the pecking order considerably, surging to fourth place after an impressive “monologue” (debate, my ass).

Trending: Say it ain’t so, Joe! Latino voters on Telemundo give President Trump the debate win 66% to 34%

The most notable loss was for RINO Jeb Bush, dropping three percentage points, slipping from second place to tied for fifth. Disappeared from the pack is Jim Gilmore. One has to wonder when Rick Perry, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki will get the message and vacate the crowded field, leaving a debate-manageable nine candidates.

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The combined support of Trump and Cruz, already unofficial allies, is impressive. Should Trump continue to lead and Cruz continue to perform strongly, a Trump/Cruz ticket begins to make even more sense. Cruz is still young (44). She he run as Trump’s VP he will still only be in his early 50s in 2024, perfectly positioned as heir apparent for a run at the White House. Cruz was the only candidate to support and even praise Donald Trump for his hard line position on illegal immigration, and the two met in New York a few weeks ago, ostensibly to discuss a future affiliation.

The upshot and big news appears to be the American people offering the one-finger salute to Fox News, screaming loudly and clearly that We the People will decide who the next president will be, NOT Megyn Kelly!

NBC Poll Results

Donald Trump –  23% (+ 1%)

Ted Cruz – 13% (+ 7%)

Ben Carson – 11% (+ 3%)

Carly Fiorina – 8% (+ 6%)

Marco Rubio – 8% (unchanged)

Scott Walker – 7% (- 3%)

Jeb Bush – 7% (- 3%)

Rand Paul – 5% (- 1%)

Mike Huckabee – 5% (+ 1%)

Rick Perry – 2% (unchanged)

John Kasich – 2% (- 1%)

Bobby Jindal – 1% (unchanged)

Chris Christie – 1% (- 2%)

Lindsey Graham – 1% (unchanged)

Rick Santorum – 0% (- 1%)

George Pataki – 0% (unchanged)