Donald Trump is leading in the Super Tuesday states of Georgia and Tennessee, while Ted Cruz is ahead in his home state of Texas, according to a trio of new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.
And Hillary Clinton is topping Bernie Sanders in all three of those southern states by about a 2-to-1 margin.
Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders heading into Super TuesdayFeb. 29, 201600:18
In Georgia, Trump gets support from 30 percent of likely Republican voters — followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tied at 23 percent each, and Ben Carson and John Kasich tied at 9 percent each.
In Tennessee, Trump leads Cruz by 18 points, 40 percent to 22 percent, while Rubio gets 19 percent, Carson 9 percent and Kasich at 6 percent.
But in Texas, Cruz is ahead at 39 percent – followed by Trump at 26 percent, Rubio at 16 percent, Carson at 8 percent and Kasich at 6 percent.
The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls were conducted before Thursday’s raucous Republican debate. But when the pollsters re-contacted close to 30 percent of all likely GOP voters in the three states the day after the debate, they found that Rubio was considered the winner of the debate, followed by Trump.
But movement in the GOP horserace was negligible, according to the re-contact interviews: Trump, Rubio and Cruz kept about 90 percent of their supporters; Carson kept about 80 percent of his; but Kasich kept only about 60 percent of his backers.
Clinton leads Sanders by about 2-to-1 in all three states
In the Democratic race, meanwhile, Clinton leads Sanders in Georgia by 34 points among likely Democratic primary voters, 64 percent to 30 percent.
In Tennessee, Clinton is ahead by 26 points, 60 percent to 34 percent.
And in Texas, she’s up by 21 points, 59 percent to 38 percent.
The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Georgia was conducted Feb. 18-23 of 543 likely GOP primary voters (margin of error is plus-minus 4.2 percentage points) and 461 likely Democratic voters (plus-minus 4.6 percentage points).
The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Tennessee was conducted Feb. 22-25 of 665 likely GOP primary voters (plus-minus 3.8 percentage points) and 405 likely Democratic primary voters (plus-minus 4.9 percentage points).
The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Texas was conducted Feb. 18-23 of 537 likely GOP primary voters (plus-minus 4.2 percentage points) and 381 likely Democratic primary voters (plus-minus 5.0 percentage points).