Cruz Bests Trump in Latest Poll: Can We Believe It?

 

So, here it is — in the first national poll taken entirely after the most recent Republican debate — Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump 28% to 26%, and Marco Rubio comes in third at 17%.

I would like to believe it. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished. But is it plausible? Trump has been ahead now in 31 consecutive national polls.

This poll, conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal could be an outlier. They do exist. It could also be an indication that Trump was badly wounded in the most recent debate when he blamed 9/11 on George W. Bush, claimed that the Bush administration had advance warning of the attacks, and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio went after him with a meat cleaver.

I do not know. But hope springs eternal. If The Donald were to depart the scene in a huff, we could have a serious debate between Cruz and Rubio — the two most attractive figures who remain in the race.

Even if it is an outlier, this poll might have an impact on the South Carolina race. As I said, hope springs eternal.

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  1. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    I think it’s real and reflects the immediate reaction to the debate, which hurt Trump.  That doesn’t mean it will last, the previous debate hurt Rubio and he seems to have recovered with a strong performance in the last debate.  Trump could certainly recover in the next debate, or with a strong showing in South Carolina.

    On the other hand it’s another chink in the “I’m a winner” armor.

    • #1
  2. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    First poll to be taken completely after the Saturday debate.  We’ll see.  I would expect, if Trump wins South Carolina, that polling will return to Trump being ahead.

    Paul A. Rahe: If The Donald were to depart the scene in a huff, we could have a serious debate between Cruz and Rubio — the two most attractive figures who remain in the race.

    Wishful thinking, including on my part.  Trump isn’t going anyplace.

    • #2
  3. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Trump would have to place second (or third) consistently to drop out. If it continues to be a three man race I think Trump holds out and has a good shot at the nomination.

    I think this poll is an outlier.

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    If the South Carolina primary is dominated by regular Republican voters, Trump will suffer for his Bush-Iraq conspiracy.

    If the open primary is spoiled by “independent” first-timers and Democrat saboteurs, Trump will gain because of that same conspiracy.

    • #4
  5. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Not only is this after the debate, but also after four (4), I think had dropped out and Trump declined.

    That is interesting that he didn’t hold his support and lost when other supporters were available.

    • #5
  6. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    I think the 3 leaders all shot themselves in the foot at the debate The difference with Trump is that he does everything big and apparently was carrying a .44 Magnum and blew his foot clean off.

    • #6
  7. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    Yes, other national polls have more data from before the debate, but other post debate polling in SC hasn’t shown anything like the dip in Trumps support that this poll does.

    • #7
  8. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    I’m with Prof. Rahe. I doubted the polls when they put Obama ahead in 2008 and 2012. For some reason, I’ve just started believing in them again. (I really am an objective scientist in my field, but when it comes to politics I am hopelessly biased).

    • #8
  9. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    BThompson:This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    Yes, other national polls have more data from before the debate, but other post debate polling in SC hasn’t shown anything like the dip in Trumps support that this poll does.

    I suspect that you are right. It looks like an outlier, and I am surprised that the pollster for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal relied on so small a sample. But the data is 100% post-debate.

    • #9
  10. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    Why the h— do Republicans have open primaries? What is the matter with them?

    • #10
  11. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Rightfromthestart:Why the h— do Republicans have open primaries? What is the matter with them?

    The notion was that, if you could get them to vote in your primary, they might vote for your candidate in the general election.

    • #11
  12. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    This poll was from Feb 14 and Nate Silver gives NBC/WSJ poll a rating of A-.

    • #12
  13. RiverRock Inactive
    RiverRock
    @RiverRock

    peak crude?

    • #13
  14. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    I hope it is real. If only Trump would flame out and crash and burn…..Likely the only viable candidates remaining are Rubio and Cruz. I trust Rubio only slightly more than Hillary…….Time will tell

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    BThompson:This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    Yes, other national polls have more data from before the debate, but other post debate polling in SC hasn’t shown anything like the dip in Trumps support that this poll does.

    This poll is about par for the course.  400 samples of a population in excess of about 170,000 will give you a margin of error of 4.9% with a confidence level of 95%. At a certain point, the sample size required for additional reduction in the margin of error becomes prohibitive. Asking 800 people only brings it down to around 3.5%.

    They are within the margin of error of each other, so at this point, it’s a horse race.

    • #15
  16. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Bigfoot:I hope it is real. If only Trump would flame out and crash and burn…..Likely the only viable candidates remaining are Rubio and Cruz. I trust Rubio only slightly more than Hillary…….Time will tell

    I can understand not trusting either Rubio or Cruz, but comparing them to Hillary is a low blow.   I can see Rubio or Cruz lying when it benefits them, but Hillary lies as a point of honor and a point of style.  Hillary lies when there is no apparent benefit or reason.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Paul A. Rahe:

    Rightfromthestart:Why the h— do Republicans have open primaries? What is the matter with them?

    The notion was that, if you could get them to vote in your primary, they might vote for your candidate in the general election.

    The Republicans have spent decades pursuing the elusive middle. Now that they have them, they are scared to death of them.

    • #17
  18. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    E. Kent Golding:

    Bigfoot:I hope it is real. If only Trump would flame out and crash and burn…..Likely the only viable candidates remaining are Rubio and Cruz. I trust Rubio only slightly more than Hillary…….Time will tell

    I can understand not trusting either Rubio or Cruz, but comparing them to Hillary is a low blow. I can see Rubio or Cruz lying when it benefits them, but Hillary lies as a point of honor and a point of style. Hillary lies when there is no apparent benefit or reason.

    Not so much what Rubio says, but what he may do, what judges he may nominate and so on

    • #18
  19. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    BThompson:This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    Yes, other national polls have more data from before the debate, but other post debate polling in SC hasn’t shown anything like the dip in Trumps support that this poll does.

    The 10% for Ben Carson should have been the first red flag.

    • #19
  20. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Paul A. Rahe: Can We Believe It?

    I don’t know how accurate it is, but it does strongly suggest movement in the right direction. This is very encouraging because if true, Trump delegates accrued to date and over the next several primaries will have no bearing on the final delegate count; and the Trump juggernaut will likely fizzle out by the time the winner-take-all states roll around.

    So, I see it as an encouraging ray of sunshine. If we see similar results replicated over a few more national polls the Trump phenomenon can soon be put behind us and Republicans can move on to the serious matter of choosing a conservative nominee.

    • #20
  21. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    Hopefully, they back up and realize that neither Trump or Cruz can give us what we need.  We need to stop yelling at each other and start building the nation up.

    Neither Cruz or Trump has the ability to do anything but destroy.

    Rubio is an optimistic future.

    That is the right and only choice.

    • #21
  22. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Annnnd… No.

    Trump leads Republican field nationally by more than 20 points: poll

    Posted 15 minutes ago. Bigger sample, conducted from Saturday to this morning. Reuters/Ipsos. Surprised that Carson still has 10 percent in this one. Maybe he has diehard supporters nationally.

    • #22
  23. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    BThompson:This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    Yes, other national polls have more data from before the debate, but other post debate polling in SC hasn’t shown anything like the dip in Trumps support that this poll does.

    The margin of error on a poll that small is YUUUGE. :O

    • #23
  24. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Sash:Hopefully, they back up and realize that neither Trump or Cruz can give us what we need. We need to stop yelling at each other and start building the nation up.

    Neither Cruz or Trump has the ability to do anything but destroy.

    Rubio is an optimistic future.

    That is the right and only choice.

    I notice that

    1. You’re new around here […]

    [redacted]
    [Editors’ Note: Personal attacks]

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Sash:We need to stop yelling at each other and start building the nation up.

    Neither Cruz or Trump has the ability to do anything but destroy.

    Ahem.

    • #25
  26. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    BThompson: This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    400 is a pretty good sample size if the sampling methodology is good. 40,000 wouldn’t be any good if the sampling methodology was bad.

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    BTW, I am hoping to hear an updated health report sometime soon, and I want it to be good news.

    • #27
  28. Demaratus Coolidge
    Demaratus
    @Demaratus

    Oh God, please. Give Liberty one more shot.

    • #28
  29. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Paul A. Rahe:

    BThompson:This is a garbage poll. Only 400 respondents nationwide over three days and it it is a complete outlier from other national polls over a similar time frame. Complete garbage.

    Yes, other national polls have more data from before the debate, but other post debate polling in SC hasn’t shown anything like the dip in Trumps support that this poll does.

    I suspect that you are right. It looks like an outlier, and I am surprised that the pollster for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal relied on so small a sample. But the data is 100% post-debate.

    Not to mention the MOE is 4.5 so we could basically say, at least as this poll goes, the two are tied. Plus, there is no link that I could find that took you to the entire poll. If I can’t see the internals, then I don’t trust the poll.

    • #29
  30. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Sash:Hopefully, they back up and realize that neither Trump or Cruz can give us what we need. We need to stop yelling at each other and start building the nation up.

    Neither Cruz or Trump has the ability to do anything but destroy.

    Rubio is an optimistic future.

    That is the right and only choice.

    I notice that

    1. You’re new around here […]

    [redacted]

    [redacted]

    • #30
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