Donald Trump holds a big lead over every Republican presidential candidate, but fellow outsider Ben Carson would trounce him in a one-on-one matchup, according to a new Monmouth University Poll.
The national poll of Republican voters released Thursday took the traditional measure of every candidate vying for the GOP nomination. With the billionaire real estate mogul at 30 percent, the poll also measured him in an individual matchup against each candidate.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, got 55 percent against Trump’s 36 percent when put against each other head-to-head.
“The fact that the only one who can challenge Trump is the only other candidate who has never held or run for elected office speaks volumes to the low regard GOP voters have for the establishment,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
Trump easily defeats other Republican presidential candidates in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup. Such a survey is not entirely academic since in most presidential primaries, the contest narrows down to two or three candidates before a nominee emerges.
Only Texas Sen. Ted Cruz came within single digits of beating Trump in a head-to-head contest, losing 41 percent to 48 percent.
Carson pulled 18 percent, a distant second to Trump, in the overall contest with all the candidates.
The poll found Trump would beat former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 56 percent to 37 percent; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 63 percent to 30 percent; Ohio Gov. John Kasich 62 percent to 29 percent; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 60 percent to 27.
Among the somewhat closer matchups, Trump would beat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 53 percent to 38 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 52 percent to 38 percent. He would defeat another outsider, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, 50 percent to 37 percent.
As for what counts now, before the field narrows, the national poll showed Bush and Cruz at 8 percent, Rubio at 5 percent, Fiorina at 4 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 4 percent, Walker at 3 percent, and Christie, Kasich and Paul at 2 percent each. The remaining six candidate scored no higher than 1 percent in the poll.
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