- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has pulled into a virtual tie with real estate mogul Donald Trump atop the 2016 GOP presidential field and leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 10 points in a head-to-head match-up, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Mr. Trump was at 24 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll, followed by Mr. Carson at 23 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 14 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 13 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 4 percent.

Nobody else was above 3 percent, and more than six in 10 said they still could change their mind.

Mr. Carson also led Mrs. Clinton by a 50 percent to 40 percent margin head-to-head.

“Is there a doctor in the house? There certainly is and at the moment Dr. Ben Carson is delivering a troubling diagnosis to Secretary Hillary Clinton,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “With the election one year away, Ben Carson has surgically cut away all but one GOP opponent and taken a scalpel to Hillary Clinton’s lead.”

In a Quinnipiac survey released in late September, Mr. Trump had been at 25 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 17 percent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 12 percent, Mr. Bush at 10 percent, and Mr. Rubio at 9 percent.

Mr. Carson now has a slight lead over Mr. Trump in the latest RealClearPolitics average on the Republican field.

The survey released Wednesday was conducted from Oct. 29-Nov. 2 - after the third GOP debate last Wednesday.

Twenty-five percent of Republicans said they would definitely not support Mr. Trump, and 23 percent said the same of Mr. Bush.

Mr. Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also led Mrs. Clinton, albeit by 5-point margins, 46 percent to 41 percent. Mr. Cruz led her by 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent, while Mr. Trump trailed her by 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent.

On the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton had an 18-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 53 percent to 35 percent.

Six in 10 voters overall said she is not honest and trustworthy, and she had a negative 42 percent/52 percent favorable/unfavorable rating split.

That was still a better favorability rating than Mr. Bush or Mr. Trump. Mr. Bush had the worst net favorability rating of any candidate among overall voters, with a 25 percent/58 percent split, and Mr. Trump had a negative 37 percent/56 percent split.

Mr. Carson had a 49 percent/25 percent split among voters overall, Mr. Rubio had a 39 percent/25 percent split, Mr. Sanders had a 39 percent/36 percent split, and Mr. Cruz had a 35 percent/32 percent split.

Among Republicans, Mr. Carson was on top with an 82 percent/6 percent split, followed by Mr. Rubio at 71 percent/10 percent and Mr. Cruz at 68 percent/9 percent.

Mr. Trump had a positive 63 percent./30 percent split among Republicans, while Mr. Bush had a marginally negative 44 percent/47 percent split.

Among Democrats, Mrs. Clinton had an 83 percent/12 percent favorable/unfavorable split and Mr. Sanders had a 67 percent/7 percent split.

Mr. Carson got the highest marks on trustworthiness; 62 percent of voters said he is honest and trustworthy and 24 percent said he is not. About six in 10 said Mr. Trump is not honest and trustworthy.

Fifty-six percent also said Mr. Carson cares about the needs and problems of “people like you,” compared to 44 percent for Mrs. Clinton and 36 percent for Mr. Trump.

Fifty-six percent did say Mrs. Clinton has strong leadership qualities, while 60 percent said the same of Mr. Trump and 47 percent said the same of Mr. Carson.

And 62 percent said she has the right kind of experience to be president, compared to 39 percent for Mr. Trump and 38 percent for Mr. Carson.

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