WASHINGTON — Businessman Donald Trump is still riding high in a new poll, just days ahead of the much anticipated first GOP presidential primary debate.
He drew 19% support in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published Sunday, ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 15% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 14%.
Those three were followed by neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 10%, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 9%, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 6% each and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 5%.
When those surveyed were asked for their second choice, Bush led with 16%, while Carson, Rubio and Trump each had 11% support.
The most consequential finding in the poll, however, was what it means for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who are locked in a three-way battle for the last two spots on the stage in Thursday’s first Republican presidential debate.
Fox, which is hosting the debate, has said the top 10 polling GOP candidates — as of 5 p.m. Tuesday — will be on stage together for a prime-time debate, while the remaining declared candidates will face-off in a 5 p.m. forum.
The NBC/WSJ survey shows Christie, Kasich and Perry each at 3% support, just two days away from Fox News announcing the names of the 10 candidates who make the cut for the prime-time Cleveland debate.
The survey follows two others — a CNN/ORC poll and one from Quinnipiac University — that also showed those three names in the 9th, 10th and 11th positions.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum each earned just 1% support, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore all failed to reach 1%.