Poll: Ben Carson Closes Gap With Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, left, and Donald Trump talk before the start of the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson has essentially closed in on Republican front-runner Donald Trump in a new national poll of 2016 presidential candidates from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

Twenty percent of Republican primary voters said they wanted Carson to be president, just one percent fewer than the percentage that picked Trump, the businessman and reality TV star. In the organizations’ last poll in mid July, Carson had 10 percent support and Trump had 19 percent support.

The poll also showed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are showing strength. Each netted 11 percent support, with all other Republican candidates – former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush included – getting single-digit support. Bush dropped from 14 percent in the July survey to 7 percent in the September poll.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a 15-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. She was the choice of 53 percent of Democratic primary voters, compared to 38 percent who picked Sanders. In July, her lead was 34 points.

Clinton’s lead would fall to just 7 percentage points over Sanders if Vice President Joe Biden were to enter the race. Her lead would fall to 42 percentage points, Sanders would net 35 percent support, and Biden 17 percent.

All other Democratic candidates received less than 1 percent support.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults, including 230 Republican primary voters and 256 Democratic primary voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 6.46 percentage points among GOP primary voters and plus or minus 6.13 percentage points among Democratic primary voters.

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