Trump leads in post-debate online polls

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWould Trump call Christie 'Mr. Piggy' or 'Mr. Housekeeping'? Yellen defends Fed from Trump attacks Melissa Joan Hart joins Gary Johnson campaign MORE may have put in a less-combative performance during the fourth GOP debate Tuesday night aired on Fox Business Network, he remained atop several unscientific online polls after the event.

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Trump took 38 percent of the vote in the Drudge Report poll as of 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, followed by Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) at 22 percent, Rand Paul (Ky.) at 16 percent and Marco Rubio (Fla.) at 12 percent. Other candidates took 5 percent or less in the that poll.

Trump also led in Time magazine's online poll, taking 43 percent, followed by Paul at 19 percent, Rubio at 15 percent, Cruz at 7 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 5 percent and Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson at 4 percent each.

Meanwhile, another online poll from Fox News heading into the debate found 50 percent of respondents saying they thought Paul would win the fourth GOP debate, followed by Trump at 23 percent, Cruz at 13 percent, Rubio at 6 percent and Carson at 4 percent.

While online polls are unscientific, they can help gauge online enthusiasm and engagement among followers of particular candidates who are watching the debate. The Drudge poll drew nearly 200,000 votes, while the Time poll had nearly 20,000 respondents and the Fox News poll received 9,400.

Trump and Carson were center stage and joined by six other candidates for the prime-time debate in Milwaukee, which focused on economic issues.