Unleash the caveats!
- It’s only one poll, the first since October that doesn’t show Donald Trump ahead.
- It’s a national poll, and we don’t have national primaries.
- Ted Cruz has a 2-point lead in a poll with a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
With that having been said, the Cruz campaign must be thrilled to have a survey saying they’re the new front-runner.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has fallen behind Ted Cruz in the national GOP horserace, according to a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
In the poll, Cruz is the first choice of 28 percent of Republican primary voters, while Trump gets 26 percent. They’re followed by Marco Rubio at 17 percent, John Kasich at 11 percent, Ben Carson at 10 percent and Jeb Bush at 4 percent.
The poll found more self-identified “very conservative” GOP primary voters than the last sample. “If the current poll is re-weighted to reflect the ideological composition from last month, the GOP horserace numbers are: Trump 26 percent, Cruz 25 percent, Rubio 18 percent and Kasich 13 percent — so Trump is ahead by one point, but still down from January.”
For those who have wondered if Trump would still be ahead in a two-man race, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggests it depends upon who that other man is. If it comes down to Cruz or Rubio, Trump’s outlook, at least in this sample, looks rough. But he looks pretty solid if Jeb Bush or John Kasich are the last rival standing:
NBC /WSJ 2/14-16
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) February 17, 2016