Pollmageddon: New National Poll Shows Cruz Leading Trump
To quote that brilliant philosopher Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles, "What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is going on here?"
A new NBC poll shows Donald Trump in second place trailing Ted Cruz in the GOP nomination fight by two points, 28-26%.
Except two other respected polling outfits also released national GOP presidential polls on Wednesday and they show Trump with a huge lead.
First, the NBC poll:
The results from the poll — conducted after Trump's victory in New Hampshire and Saturday's GOP debate in South Carolina — are a significant reversal from last month, when Trump held a 13-point lead over Cruz, 33 percent to 20 percent.
In the poll, Cruz is the first choice of 28 percent of Republican primary voters, while Trump gets 26 percent. They're followed by Marco Rubio at 17 percent, John Kasich at 11 percent, Ben Carson at 10 percent and Jeb Bush at 4 percent.
Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart and his firm Hart Research Associates, says Trump's drop could signal being "right on top of a shift in the campaign."
"When you see a number this different, it means you might be right on top of a shift in the campaign. What you don't know yet is if the change is going to take place or if it is a momentary 'pause' before the numbers snap back into place," he said.
McInturff added, "So, one poll post-Saturday debate can only reflect there may have been a 'pause' as Republican voters take another look at Trump. This happened earlier this summer and he bounced back stronger. We will have to wait this time and see what voters decide."
What's interesting is that the other two polls -- from Quinnipiac and USA Today -- were conducted partially before the GOP South Carolina debate. Quinnipiac has Trump a comfortable 20 points ahead of Cruz, while USA Today has a slightly smaller lead for Trump of 15 points.