For all the assumptions about Donald Trump's stalled support in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the New York developer hasn't relinquished his national lead. On the contrary, the new USA Today/Suffolk poll shows Trump with a double-digit advantage over his next closest rival.
1. Donald Trump: 23% (up six point from July)
2. Ben Carson: 13% (up nine points)
2. Carly Fiorina: 13% (up 12 points)
4. Marco Rubio: 9% (up four points)
5. Jeb Bush: 8% (down six points)
6. Ted Cruz: 6% (unchanged)
7. Mike Huckabee: 2% (down two points)
7. John Kasich: 2% (up one point)
7. Rand Paul: 2% (down two points)
10. Chris Christie: 1% (down two points)
10. Lindsey Graham: 1% (up one point)
10. Bobby Jindal: 1% (unchanged)
Note, to provide the most complete picture possible, I've highlighted whether candidates' support has gone up or down since the last USA Today/Suffolk, but it was taken in July. And I think it's fair to say quite a bit has changed since July.
"It has now come down to the GOP 'gang of six,' " says David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University in Boston. That would be Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Rubio, Bush and Cruz. "These six contenders swallow up nearly three-quarters of the Republican vote."
That may yet change, of course, but I'm struck by the fact that, even now, Trump's position atop national polls hasn't changed, despite the fact that his support is no longer soaring higher.
For what it's worth, the same poll asked respondents to volunteer a single word to describe the GOP frontrunner. The most common descriptions of Trump were "idiot," "jerk," "stupid," and "dumb."
He may be leading the polls, but Trump does not yet enjoy broad popularity.