A bit of sweet polling candy for Trump fans at the end of a long week. Until the past few days, when a NYT/CBS survey put Carson up by four, there was only one national poll taken in the last four months that showed Trump trailing. That was the IBD/TIPP poll conducted in late September and early October, which gave Carson a shocking 24/17 lead. It may have been an outlier but it was a newsy outlier.
A month later, IBD/TIPP has Trump back in the lead.
Amazing how little movement there is in those numbers except for Trump’s. If the last poll wasn’t an outlier, it looks like he lost a bunch of votes to Carly Fiorina after her stellar second debate and, now that she’s slipped off everyone’s radar, has gained them all back and then some. Note, though, that “most” of the replies to this poll were collected before the debate on Wednesday. If Rubio or Cruz got a bounce from their performance, you wouldn’t see it here. We’ll have to wait until next week for that data.
If you can’t wait until then, though, here’s what Reuters’s five-day tracking poll of Republican likely voters looks like as of this afternoon. This is the same poll I blogged a few days ago showing Ben Carson suddenly out to a lead over Trump nationally. A few days later, that lead is holding. That’s Carson in purple at 33 percent and Trump in green at 27.
Carson’s been stuck at 33 over the past two days, suggesting that the debate neither helped nor hurt him, while Trump has risen two points, indicating he might have gotten a bounce. But wait — what’s that blue line towards the bottom suddenly poking up into third place? That’s, er, Jeb Bush, who’s somehow risen to 11 percent in the two days since the debate, placing him ahead of Marco Rubio. It seems impossible to believe that Jeb, of all people, is getting a bounce from a debate that even his own advisors admit wasn’t what they were hoping for, but Bush’s spokesman was crowing about it on Twitter this afternoon. There’s a little bit of suspense for next week’s pollmania: Did Jeb, against all odds, somehow improve his position in the race with Wednesday’s performance? The answer is almost certainly no, but then I would have guessed before the campaign that Ben Carson would be polling around four percent right now. Campaigns are strange and this campaign is the strangest of all.