From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:
As Long As It’s Trump Against a Crowd, Trump Wins.
Behind Trump, who has 35 percent support in a new poll, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas are tied for second place — at 18 percent each, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released exclusively Monday to The State.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in fourth at 10 percent support, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, tied with 7 percent support each.
Public Policy interviewed 897 likely GOP primary voters Sunday and Monday – the first look at how after Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate affected the race. The poll has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.
If these sorts of results come to pass, the conventional wisdom will conclude Trump is the most likely Republican nominee, and with good reason. His debate performance wasn’t bad enough to dissuade his base, and until the opposition to Trump congeals around one alternative, he’ll probably have the biggest slice of the pie. (Maybe if the race comes down to three candidates, one of the non-Trump alternatives will jump ahead.)
Polling in the March 1 and March 8 primary states is sparse, but just about every survey in those states from shows Trump leading, except for Texas, a state with complicated winner-take-most rules for delegates. Cruz leads there; one January poll had Cruz up 5, another had him up 15.
We don’t have any recent polls in Nevada, but Trump was ahead in the most recent one, conducted in December.
Another poll out this morning, commissioned by the South Carolina House Republican Caucus, offers similar results but with a better result for Jeb Bush: Trump 32.6 percent, Rubio 14 percent, Cruz 13.9 percent, Bush 13.3 percent, Kasich 9.8 percent, Carson 5.8 percent, undecided 10.3 percent.