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New Polls Show Carson, Trump Dominant Going into GOP Debate

by Andrew Rafferty /

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A slew of recently released polls paint a picture of exactly where the 2016 race stands heading into the fourth Republican presidential debate Tuesday night. And on the GOP side, there is no doubt that Ben Carson and Donald Trump are the top dogs.

Trump and Carson still dominating field

A new national McClatchy/Marist poll reveals that Carson and Trump are neck-and-neck at the top of the Republican presidential field. The next closest, Marco Rubio, is 11 points behind Trump. Here are the full results:

  • Carson 24%
  • Trump 23%
  • Rubio 12%
  • Cruz 8%
  • Bush 8%
  • Paul 5%
  • Kasich 4%
  • Fiorina 3%

Clinton beating GOP field in hypothetical matchups

The McClatchy/Marist poll also found Hillary Clinton is leading every member of the Republican 2016 field in hypothetical matchups. Her slimmest lead is against Carson, who she leads by just two points. She holds her largest lead over Trump (+15). Here’s the full breakdown:

  • Clinton 50%, Carson 48% (+2)
  • Clinton 50%, Rubio 45% (+5)
  • Clinton 52%, Bush 44% (+8)
  • Clinton 53%, Cruz 43% (+10)
  • Clinton 53%, Fiorina 43% (+10)
  • Clinton 56%, Trump 41% (+15)

Carson and Trump battling for South Carolina

Similar to their dominance in national polling, Trump and Carson are overshadowing the GOP field in South Carolina. A Monmouth poll released Monday found the two separated by just one point in the Palmetto State. Rubio sits at a distant third.

  • Carson 28%
  • Trump 27%
  • Rubio 11%
  • Cruz 9%
  • Bush 7%
  • Fiorina 2%
  • Huckabee 2%

Clinton with 48 point lead in the first southern primary

Unlike the GOP field, the Democratic primary in South Carolina does not seem quite as up for grabs. A Monmouth poll released Tuesday found Clinton has a 48 point lead in the state.

  • Clinton 69%
  • Sanders 21%
  • O’Malley 1%

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