{{show_title_date || "Trump still in lead day before primary, 2/19/16, 6:02 AM ET"}}

Trump loses ground in South Carolina: Poll


Donald Trump is now leading Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary by 5 points – down from his 16-point lead in the state a month ago, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Trump gets support from 28 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the state, while Ted Cruz gets 23 percent. They’re followed by Marco Rubio at 15 percent, Jeb Bush at 13 percent and John Kasich and Ben Carson at 9 percent each.

In the January NBC/WSJ/Marist poll – conducted before this month’s Iowa and New Hampshire contests – Trump held a 16-point over Cruz, 36 percent to 20 percent, with Rubio at 14 percent and Bush at 9 percent.

All other recent public polling in South Carolina has shown Trump with a strong double-digit lead in the state.

In South Carolina’s Democratic primary – which will be held on Feb. 27 – Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders among likely voters by 28 points, 60 percent to 32 percent. That’s down slightly from Clinton’s 64 percent-to-27 percent advantage last month.

In the current poll, Sanders leads Clinton among white Democrats, 51 percent to 46 percent. But Clinton crushes him among African Americans in the state, 68 percent to 21 percent.

Even among African Americans under the age of 45, Clinton is ahead of Sanders by 17 points, 52 percent to 35 percent.

The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll was conducted Feb. 15-17 of 722 likely GOP primary voters (a margin of error of plus-minus 3.6 percentage points) and 425 likely Democratic voters (plus-minus 4.8 percentage points).

Behind the scenes at MSNBC's exclusive town hall with Donald Trump
Photographer Mark Peterson went behind the scenes in Charleston, South Carolina, to provide an exclusive look at MSNBC's town hall with Donald Trump.