Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump participate in the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Sept. 16, 2015. 
Photo by Frederic J. BrownAFP/Getty

Trump, Carson neck and neck as summer turns to fall

Updated
Donald Trump’s dominant position in the race for the Republican presidential nomination isn’t quite as imposing as it was a few weeks ago. The New York developer is still leading the GOP pack, but a FiveThirtyEight analysis last week noted the degree to which Trump’s support has slipped.
 
Weekends with Alex Witt, 9/27/15, 12:15 PM ET

New poll shows Carson one point behind Trump

The Clintons push back on the email controversy, Carly Fiorina stands by planned parenthood criticism and new national poll numbers shows Ben Carson is now just one point behind Donald Trump. NBC’s Mark Murray joins Alex Witt to discuss.
There’s a difference, though, between slipping and losing. Consider the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
 
1. Donald Trump: 21% (up two points from July)
2. Ben Carson: 20% (up 10 points)
3. Carly Fiorina: 11% (up 11 points)
3. Marco Rubio: 11% (up six points)
5. Jeb Bush: 7% (down seven points)
6. John Kasich: 6% (up three points)
7. Ted Cruz: 5% (down four points)
8. Rand Paul: 3% (down three points)
8. Chris Christie: 3% (unchanged)
10. Mike Huckabee: 2% (down four points)
 
The remaining candidates were at 1% or below.
For all the chatter about Trump’s weakened position, note Trump’s backing actually went up, not down. A Fox News poll showed the same thing last week – Carson narrowing the gap, but Trump’s overall support inching higher.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the results, aside from Rand Paul’s steady collapse, is Jeb Bush’s backing being cut in half since July, and dropping from 22% to 7% from June to last week. It’s hardly a surprise that the former governor’s network of supporters are getting, let’s say, antsy.
 
As for the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton still leads Bernie Sanders nationally, though the margin continues to shrink. The former Secretary of State’s advantage is now just seven points, 42% to 35%, with Vice President Biden third with 17%.

NBC’s Mark Murray added, “When Biden – who is still mulling a campaign – is removed from the field, Clinton’s lead over Sanders grows to 15 points, 53 percent to 38 percent, which suggests that Biden’s entry would hurt Clinton more than Sanders.”

Donald Trump and Polling

Trump, Carson neck and neck as summer turns to fall

Updated