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New national GOP poll: Donald Trump 30%, Ben Carson 18%; Carson only one to beat Trump one-on-one

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Dr. Ben Carson‘s movement in the GOP presidential polls isn’t happening just in Iowa.

A new Monmouth University national poll of the Republican presidential candidates released on Thursday shows the staying power of  real estate tycoon Donald Trump. He leads the field with 30 percent support — that’s 4 points higher than a similar poll taken before the first GOP debate last month. Carson has now slipped into second place with 18 percent, the only other candidate in double digits.

Jeb Bush has now slumped to third place in the Monmouth poll with 8 percent, a 4-point drop from a month ago. He’s tied with Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio is fifth with 5 percent. Carly Florina and Mike Huckabee are at 4 percent.

The biggest loser in this survey is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is in eighth place with 3 percent. Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rand Paul each get 2 percent.

“None of the establishment candidates is having any success in getting an anti-Trump vote to coalesce around them. In fact, any attempt to take on Trump directly only seems to make him stronger,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, N.J.

Trump easily leads every Republican in a hypothetical one-on-one match-up, with one exception — Carson.

Carson wallops Trump, 55-36 percent.

However, Trump dominates every other establishment GOP candidate. He whips Bush, 56-37 percent. He whips Rubio, 52-38 percent. The closest to him (other than Carson) is Cruz. Trump leads Cruz, 48-41 percent.

By a more than 2-to-1 margin, Republican voters nationwide say the country needs a president from outside government who can bring a new approach to Washington (67 percent) rather than someone with government experience who knows how to get things done (26 percent).

And Trump’s favorable/unfavorable numbers continue to rise positively. It now stands at 59 percent favorable to 29 percent unfavorable. It was 52 percent favorable to 35 percent unfavorable four weeks ago, and as recently as June, it stood at a significantly negative 20 percent favorable to 55 percent unfavorable.

Carson’s rating has also gone up, now standing at 67 percent favorable to 6 percent unfavorable, compared with 45 to 10 percent just before the first debate.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from August 31 to September 2, 2015, with 1,009 adults in the United States. This release is based on a sample of 366 registered voters who identify themselves as Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party. This voter sample has a margin of error of +5.1 percent.

The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, N.J.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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