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NBC News/WSJ Poll: Trump and Cruz Locked in Tight Race Nationally in New Poll

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are locked in a tight Republican race according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Image: GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, on March 3, 2016. Voters in Michigan will go to the polls March 8 for the State's primary. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are locked in a tight Republican race – separated by just three points – according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Trump is the first choice of 30 percent of Republican primary voters – followed by Cruz at 27 percent, John Kasich at 22 percent and Marco Rubio at 20 percent.

NBC News

Last month, the same NBC/WSJ poll found Cruz with a two-point lead over Trump, 28 percent to 26 percent, but that was before Trump’s big wins in South Carolina and Nevada.

The new NBC/WSJ poll – conducted mostly after last Thursday’s raucous GOP debate and Mitt Romney’s blistering anti-Trump speech – differs from the weekly national NBC|SurveyMonkey online poll, which showed Trump leading Cruz by 19 points, 39 percent to 20 percent. The NBC|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted Feb. 29-March 6, so half before the debate and Romney’s speech.

The new NBC/WSJ poll also shows Trump trailing his rivals in hypothetical one-on-one match-ups.

Cruz and Kasich best Trump by an identical 17 points, 57 percent to 40 percent, while Rubio beats Trump by 13 points, 56 percent to 43 percent.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted – via landline and cell phone interviews – among 397 Republican primary voters from March 3-6, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.9 percentage points. The rest of the NBC/WSJ poll will be released Wednesday morning.