A Fox News poll published Thursday afternoon shows Donald Trump with a growing lead over Ted Cruz. Trump also hit a new high of 45% in the Fox poll.
Trump tops Cruz by 45-27 percent among GOP primary voters in a new Fox News national poll on the 2016 election. John Kasich comes in third with 25 percent.
Three weeks ago, the mogul was up by three over Cruz: 41-38 percent, with Kasich at 17 percent (March 20-22, 2016).
Forty-five percent is a new high for Trump. The previous high was last month’s 41 percent.
Obviously Trump has gained some steam and the new high will help him put down complaints that he has already reached his ceiling of support. However, it looks as if John Kasich was also a big winner in this poll. He went from 17% to 25%* at the expense of Ted Cruz who dropped 11 points over the same period of time. There is more good news in the poll for Kasich. Fox News reports, “Kasich is up by nine points over Clinton (49 vs. 40 percent), while she’s the one who tops Trump (+7 points) and Cruz (+1 point). ”
What’s not clear from the poll is what could possibly have led so many people to leave the Cruz camp and side with Kasich instead. The “New York values” thing certain hurt Cruz in New York, but this is a national poll. Would voters in California or Texas be put off by a dig at New York?
Just as curious, what reason do voters have to side with Kasich at this late date? While the RCP poll average does show him leading Ted Cruz in New York it’s only a 3 1/2 point lead. Meanwhile Trump leads Kasich by 32 points. And in Pennsylvania where Kasich has suggested he could be competitive he is currently running in 3rd place.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, more evidence the race is tightening nationally. Clinton leads Sanders by just 2 points, down from a 13 point lead last month. Also significant is where Hillary seems to be losing support:
The shift comes from women. Clinton’s support has declined 11 points among women, while support for Sanders is up by nine. Support among men mostly held steady — and it’s in Sanders’ favor: 57-37 percent.
The national results won’t help Sanders in New York where Clinton is holding on to a double-digit lead but it could help him down the line in California if he continues to cut into Clinton’s edge with women voters.
*Note: I originally wrote Kasich went from 17% to 27% but the correct figure is 25%. Corrected above.