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Trump Leads Cruz by Only 5 Points Nationally

Trump Leads Cruz by Only 5 Points Nationally

By Kyle Balluck for The Hill

Billionaire Donald Trump is in first place in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Trump now has the support of 27 percent of Republican primary voters, according to the poll, a portion of which was conducted after Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) moved into second place with 22 percent, gaining 12 points.

Cruz benefited from the fall of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, pollsters say.

Carson dropped 18 points in the poll, released Sunday morning, falling to fourth place in the crowded GOP presidential field. Carson was atop the last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in late October though Trump has been first in other national polls since then. Carson now is the first choice of 11 percent of GOP primary voters.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has 15 percent support, up 4 percent, to hold the third spot in the new poll.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, with 7 percent support, and former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina, with 5 percent, round out the top six.

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