Trump Butts Heads and Loses

At some point, the GOP field will narrow as candidates self-select the exit option and a new equilibrium is established. For at least a day or two, that is. Nothing it seems, is guaranteed in this race, as several veterans and a few newbies have found out. Carly Fiorina, for example, should be closer to the post-debate bump she benefited from in September after the CNN debate. She’s not, and she’s slipping back into the bottom half of the second tier - also known as the third tier - as far as the numbers show.

PPP's latest Iowa poll (it's only a couple of months away after all) have Carson and Trump in a close heat with a percentage point between them. But the interesting part is the head-to-head races between the GOP candidates themselves. Trump actually loses in head-to-heads against: Carson by 20 points, Cruz by 17 points, and Rubio by 9 points. So in Iowa; Carson, Cruz, & Rubio beat Trump in a head-to-head. Who does Trump actually win against in a head-to-head? He wins against Jeb by 18 points, a point more than he loses to Cruz by.

And of course, Cruz is the big winner after the CNBC debate in Boulder. He's jumped to 14% in the PPP Iowa poll, in third place now behind Trump and Carson. But Jindal has done surprisingly well climbing up to 6% along with Huckabee, ahead of Jeb and Carly who each are holding on to 5 percentage points.

The Washington Examiner's Power Rankings, on the other hand, has Rubio at the top again followed by Carson and Cruz. Trump scowls from 4th place in the power rankings and Jeb is at number 8, with a joke about his e-book next to his awkward smile. It's a little hard to tell what exactly any given power ranking really means anymore, other than a way to editorialize your preferences with lots of thumbnail headshots for our viewing pleasure.

Perhaps one can take the see-sawing in these power rankings over the last couple of months, between the ex-governor and the not-always-there senator from Florida, as an indication of where GOP endorsements are flowing to. Rubio's coffers are nowhere near as deep as Bush's, but that can and will change if enough endorsements move from Jeb to Marco. So if the Examiner's Power Rankings are a proxy for establishment views on which candidate they're inclined to support, then maybe Rubio's campaign coffers are in for good times ahead. As for Rubio actually reaching Carson and Trump's numbers, the voter trail is less convincing at this point. Cruz is more likely to be up there battling for top spot. In fact, he already kind of is.

Posted by Keeley at November 4, 2015 8:24 PM
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