Donald Trump and Ben Carson are running neck and neck in the national Republican presidential horserace, while Carly Fiorina is now tied for third place with Marco Rubio, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
And on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has lost ground to Bernie Sanders — she leads him by just seven points with Joe Biden in the race, and 15 points without the vice president. That’s down from Clinton’s 34-point lead over Sanders in July and her whopping 60-point lead in June.
In the GOP race, Trump is the first choice of 21 percent of Republican primary voters — followed by Carson at 20 percent and Rubio and Fiorina tied at 11 percent each.
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Jeb Bush, meanwhile, is at 7 percent, John Kasich at 6 percent and Ted Cruz at 5 percent. No other Republican gets more than 3 percent.
Back in July’s NBC/WSJ poll, Trump was in first place at 19 percent, Scott Walker (who exited the race on Monday) was second at 15 percent, Bush third at 14 percent and Carson fourth at 10 percent. Rubio was just at 5 percent, and Fiorina didn’t register at all in the poll.
Adding both first and second choices, Carson tops the current GOP field at 35 percent – followed by Trump at 31 percent, Fiorina at 28 percent, Rubio at 26 percent and Bush at 19 percent.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Sept. 20-24 — so mostly after Walker suspended his campaign on Sept. 21. Only one GOP primary voter (out of 59 interviews) had selected Walker before he was removed from the survey.
In the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton is the first choice of 42 percent of primary voters, Sanders is in second at 35 percent and Joe Biden third at 17 percent. No other Democrat gets more than 1 percent.
When Biden – who is still mulling a campaign – is removed from the field, Clinton’s lead over Sanders grows to 15 points, 53 percent to 38 percent, which suggests that Biden’s entry would hurt Clinton more than Sanders.
Back in July, Clinton held a 34-point lead over Sanders, 59 percent to 25 percent. And in June, it was 60 points, 75 percent to 15 percent.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Sept. 20-24 of 256 Democratic voters (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 6.1 percentage points) and 230 GOP primary voters (plus-minus 6.5 percentage points). The rest of the poll will be released Monday.
Mark Murray is a senior political editor at NBC News.