Poll: Cruz surges into second nationally, trails Trump by five

But Carson is now in fourth at 11 percent (down 18 points) — and much of his support has transferred to Cruz.

Indeed, while the poll shows Carson dropping 23 percentage points among “very conservative” Republican primary voters since October, it has Cruz up with this group by an equal amount.

“Where Cruz picked up is where Carson lost ground,” says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

“This is a real shift,” McInturff adds.