Yes, it’s just one poll, but it does seem to capture an emerging trend in the GOP primary race. With Donald Trump in the lead, the latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll — featuring a large sample size of over 2,400 that are Republican or who lean Republican — shows Ted Cruz surging into second place alongside Ben Carson. What’s more worrisome for Carson — and encouraging for Cruz — is that Carson has given up major support among voters who describe themselves as “very conservative.” Carson’s support among this group has dropped by HALF — from 30% to 15% — with nearly all of those voters switching over to Cruz. If this trend continues, it means big trouble for Carson and big news for Cruz.
Via PJ Media:
The latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll has Donald Trump back in the lead with 28% support among Republican and independent voters who lean Republican. Meanwhile, Ben Carson seems to be fading. He has lost eight points and is tied with the surging Ted Cruz for second place with 18%.
The only other candidate with double-digit support is Marco Rubio. The Florida senator is supported by 11% of Republican (leaning) voters. Rubio is followed by Jeb Bush with 4%, and by Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina with 3% each.
Carson’s campaign is in trouble because he has lost support among white evangelicals (down from 33% to 25%) and among voters who describe themselves as “very conservative” (from 30% to 15%).
Nearly all of those voters have gone to Cruz:
This NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll confirms the findings of yesterday’s PPP poll: Trump stabilizing, Carson fading, Cruz surging.
While Carson continued strong throughout an onslaught of attacks from the liberal media, what seems to have hurt him are recent foreign policy gaffes, which have been magnified in the wake of last week’s Paris attacks. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has emerged as one of the strong voices on protecting the nation against radical Islam — including the threat posed by Syrian refugees. As Cruz himself has pointed out, the fact that President Obama is calling him out specifically is an indication of the mindshare Cruz now commands on these issues.
As for Carson, PJ Media rightly concludes:
If Carson wants to get the momentum back, he has to change the subject. Every day the media and his rivals are talking about immigration and radical Islam is a bad day for him, and a very good day for both Cruz and Trump.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]