GOP frontrunner Donald Trump continues to lead nationally and in most of the Super Tuesday states, according to various polls. Trump is even leading Marco Rubio by large margins in his home state of Florida and apparently giving Ted Cruz a run for his money in his home state of Texas, according to one poll.
But the new poll released this morning by NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls has some decidedly good news for someone other than Trump. The fresh poll shows that while Donald Trump leads in both Tennessee and Georgia, Sen. Ted Cruz is ahead in his home state of Texas by a 13-point margin.
Via NBC News:
Donald Trump is leading in the Super Tuesday states of Georgia and Tennessee, while Ted Cruz is ahead in his home state of Texas, according to a trio of new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.
And Hillary Clinton is topping Bernie Sanders in all three of those southern states by about a 2-to-1 margin.
In Georgia, Trump gets support from 30 percent of likely Republican voters — followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tied at 23 percent each, and Ben Carson and John Kasich tied at 9 percent each.
In Tennessee, Trump leads Cruz by 18 points, 40 percent to 22 percent, while Rubio gets 19 percent, Carson 9 percent and Kasich at 6 percent.
But in Texas, Cruz is ahead at 39 percent – followed by Trump at 26 percent, Rubio at 16 percent, Carson at 8 percent and Kasich at 6 percent.
The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls were conducted before Thursday’s raucous Republican debate. But when the pollsters re-contacted close to 30 percent of all likely GOP voters in the three states the day after the debate, they found that Rubio was considered the winner of the debate, followed by Trump.
But movement in the GOP horserace was negligible, according to the re-contact interviews: Trump, Rubio and Cruz kept about 90 percent of their supporters; Carson kept about 80 percent of his; but Kasich kept only about 60 percent of his backers.
Besides being the largest prize yet in the GOP primary contest — with a total of 155 Republican delegates up for grabs — Texas is, of course, Sen. Ted Cruz’s home state, so it’s especially important for him to do well there.
Dallas Morning News writes there are two ways for Rebuplicans to collect delegates in Texas:
If they do well in a congressional district, they stand to gain up to three delegates per district. Statewide vote totals determine which candidate or candidates get an additional 47 delegates. If a GOP candidate wins more than half of the votes in Texas, he will get all 47 of those delegates. Anything less and the candidates have to share.
If the polls are any guide — and, admittedly, we all have our doubts about their accuracy, especially in this wildly unpredictable election cycle — Ted Cruz still faces an uphill battle if he doesn’t want to share that prize of the additional 47 delegates.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]