A new NBC/WSJ poll showed that outsiders continue to dominate the GOP field for President. Donald Trump continues to lead, but only edges Ben Carson, who is in second place, by one point. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina has surged into a third place with 11 percent, tied with Sen. Marco Rubio. Together, the three outsider candidates garner 52 percent of the GOP vote.
After two Presidential debates and a tsunami of media questions about the inexperience of Trump, Carson and Fiorina, a majority of Republican voters nationwide still prefer one of the three, who have never held elective office.
This fact warrants overstating. Donald Trump is his own force of nature and seems preternaturally wired to succeed in today’s media environment. The phenomenon disrupting the GOP nomination goes far beyond the real estate developer.
At the beginning of summer, the top three Republican candidates were Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. Since then, Jeb has given up two-thirds of his support and is now in fifth place with just 7 percent support. Walker, after a campaign that can only be described as criminally negligent, is out of the race. Rubio, after dropping to eigth place this summer, has fought back to 11 percent and a tie for third place.
It is very likely that by the time of the next GOP debate, at the end of October, only 6 or 7 candidates will poll at 5 percent or higher. Rubio, whose experience in office is shaky, looks to be the presumptive champion of the GOP establishment.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, with every possible institutional advantage at her disposal, continues to lose ground against a remarkably weak Democrat field. Her lead over Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders is a very modest 7 points. In June, she lead the septuagenarian iconoclast by 60 points.
Clinton has 42 percent support among Democrats nationwide. Socialist Sanders has 35 percent and Vice President Joe Biden, who isn’t a candidate, commands 17 percent support. At this stage in the campaign for the 2008 Democrat nomination, Clinton posted much stronger leads against Barack Obama and John Edwards.
For weeks, polls in Iowa and New Hampshire have signaled a rapid erosion in support for Clinton. Democrat pundits have cautioned that those early states are aberrations and her national support remained strong. Iowa and New Hampshire are politically somewhat unique, but they are also the two states where voters are paying the most attention.
Nationally, voters are several months behind the voters in the first two voting states. As they begin to pay more attention, Clinton is losing more support. That cannot be comforting news at the Clinton HQ in Brooklyn.