Carly Fiorina soars after debate, taking 2nd place, as Donald Trump takes a dip in poll

US Republican presidential candidate and former CEO Carly Fiorina speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina, on Sept. 18, 2015.Reuters

After building a huge lead in the Republican presidential race, outspoken business tycoon Donald Trump went on a slide for the first time, losing 8 percentage points after last week's second Republican presidential debate.

However, Trump remained as the front-runner in the Republican presidential contest, garnering 24 percent support from potential voters, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll conducted three days after Wednesday night's GOP debate. Trump had a 32 percent rating prior to the debate.

The same survey also showed a new potential challenger for Trump as Republican presidential front-runner: former Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina, whose performance in the GOP debate watched by 23 million people was widely praised, rocketed to second place in the Republican presidential field, securing the nod of 15 percent of those surveyed, just 9 percentage points behind Trump.

Fiorina just had a 3 percent rating early this month.

Interestingly, the survey also indicated that 52 percent of the Republicans who watched the GOP debate identified Fiorina as the winner. Trump, meanwhile, was identified by 31 percent of Republican viewers as the loser in the debate.

During the debate, Fiorina confronted Trump over his personal attacks against her, as well as their business records.

The lone female Republican presidential aspirant also overtook retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was earlier seen as Trump's closest rival.

Carson got 14 percent support in the newest CNN/ORC poll, down five percentage points from the 19 percent he got from the previous poll.

It is worth noting that all three top Republican presidential candidates—Trump, Fiorina and Carson—do not have experience in government service.

The highest ranking politician in the newest CNN poll was Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida who placed fourth with 11 percent support from Republican voters—a considerable improvement from his 3 percent in a previous poll.

Rubio was also viewed as the winner of the GOP debate by 14 percent of the respondents, particularly due to his extensive views on foreign policy he presented during his face-off with the other Republican candidates.