Carly Fiorina is the ultimate outsider in the 2016 US presidential election cycle. She has never held elected office, she is struggling in the polls, and it has been announced that she failed to qualify for the first Republican presidential debate (Aug. 6). Despite these harsh realities, if one was to take some time to actually find out who Carly Fiorina is and what it is she is saying, they may be at least somewhat impressed.

The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard has struggled to have her voice heard amongst the horde of other Republican presidential hopefuls, but she is easily one of the most articulate and consistently on-point candidates in the 2016 cycle.

Fiorina has impressed many during public forums and television appearances as she, unlike other candidates on both sides of the political divide, is willing to put forward some substantive policy points and given detailed explanations of her views on topics ranging from the economy to abortion. Her clear and purposeful speaking style has drawn some to Fiorina’s cause, and with a field dominated by notorious renegades like Donald Trump, it is easy to see why many are viewing Carly Fiorina as a more reasonable alternative.

Whilst Fiorina may be a promising candidate, she has failed to distinguish herself from the rest of the field and she still carries almost zero name recognition with the general public.

In recent weeks, Fiorina carried out a generally well executed media blitz, with appearances on CNN and ABC, but this once again has failed to lift her national polling numbers. In two recent polls, conducted by YouGov/Economist and Public Policy Polling, Fiorina captured just 3% and 4% respectively, which places her well behind the leading pack of Republican contenders such as Donald Trump (19% and 28%), Jeb Bush (12% and 14%) and Scott Walker (17% and 13%).

Any immediately respite for Fiorina’s poor polling seems far off, as the ten participants for the first Republican presidential debate to be held by Fox News were announced, with Fiorina being one of the notable exceptions.

Fiorina will join fellow battlers Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham in a one-hour people’s forum that will take place before the main debate that will feature the ten highest polling candidates in recent national polls.

While this may seem like a disastrous blow of Fiorina, the smaller stage could also work to her advantage. Fiorina is becoming renowned for her ferocity and consistency, and if given the chance, she may be able to use these weapons to dominate the people’s forum and steal some attention away from the leading pack.

Many have taken it upon themselves to count Carly Fiorina out of contention for the Republican presidential nomination, simply relegating her to the position of potential vice-presidential running mate or future Fox News contributor, but those who do this do so at their own peril.

Carly Fiorina has proven in the past during her time at Hewlett-Packard and in the midst of her unsuccessful 2010 Senate run that she is a dogged fighter, and being a relatively articulate and likeability member of a Republican field devoid of substance and rationality, Fiorina stands a real chance of being the dark horse candidate that may very well clinch the nomination out the hands of a Bush or a Walker.