A new poll released Thursday suggests that Donald Trump’s whirlwind of personal attacks against constitutional conservative Ted Cruz are having an effect, but not the one that the bombastic billionaire and reality TV star was hoping for.
Like Don Knotts playing deputy Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show, Trump’s haphazard shooting of bullets is appearing to shoot the showman in the foot.
The new Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll shows that Trump’s national lead has been sliced dramatically, to within the margin of error of 4%, with Donald Trump crashing a whopping 9% over the December numbers, to now only 25% support.
Perhaps more telling is that the poll shows Trump’s popularity among GOP voters plummeting a net 17 points in only one month, and has fallen to third place among conservatives.
Among conservatives, Ted Cruz is king with 34%, and Rubio showing strongly at 22%. Trump now has just 19% support among conservative voters within the Republican Party.
Ironically, Trump’s personal character assassination against Cruz has not hurt him — it’s actually helped. Support for Cruz has increased by 3% to 21%, following his historic victory over Trump in Monday’s Iowa Caucus, the first true test of voters in the nation.
But the candidate who seems to be helped the most by Trump’s onslaught against Cruz is Marco Rubio, who even increased more that the Texas senator. Rubio’s support was at 13% in December; it is now at 21%, tied with Cruz for second place.
Rubio, who was predicted to place third in Iowa according to all polls leading up to the Iowa Caucus, did place third, albeit a strong one, leading media outlets like pro-amnesty FOX News to go into a slobbering love affair with the Florida senator, essentially declaring Rubio the “big winner,” despite his third place finish.
Behind Trump, Cruz and Rubio is Ben Carson, the only other candidate to land in double digits. Carson came in at 10%. All others received 5% or less.
The media, including FOX, have largely downplayed Cruz’s unexpected victory over Trump, even though the 13 polls leading up to the vote all predicted a Trump victory over Cruz.
Cruz received the most votes in the history the Iowa Caucus for Republicans. Yet, FOX News host Eric Bolling went out of his way to point out that Trump received the second most ever, downplaying the Cruz win over Trump.