CBS poll: Top three GOP candidates are pretty good

A new CBS poll has some expected results and some surprises.  Donald Trump is still in first with 27% support, roughly where he was before.  Ben Carson is still in second with 21%, continuing to inch up in the polls.  But the most surprising is third place.  After the last debate, Carly Fiorina had been surging.  Now she is sputtering, with only 6% support tied with low-polling-energy Jeb Bush.  The third-place candidate is now Ted Cruz, at 9%.

That means the top three candidates, who, with the exception of Bobby Jindal, represent the most conservative candidates in the race represent 57% of the GOP primary vote at this point.  Yes, I know that on some thing like trade and taxes Donald Trump is not so conservative.  But he is the best the GOP can hope for on immigratation with his wall-building, deportations, and ending of birthright citizenship.  And Ben Carson does want to offer amnesty to illegals.  But he is more conservative than other candidates on issues of fighting radical Islam and supporting gun rights.  And Ted Cruz, while not as conservative on immigration as Donald Trump (he hasn't talked about deportation or legislatively ending birthright citizenship), is more conservative on just about everything else.

I think, given the reality we live in, any of these top three would be much better than all the rest of the candidates (except Bobby Jindal).  It is true that Marco Rubio is only one percentage point behind Cruz, at 8%.  But Cruz just raised more than twice as much money than Rubio did.  At a New Hampshire libertarian conference, he nearly beat Rand Paul in a straw poll among Paul's core constituency.  Cruz also has a strong base of support among social conservatives.

If you look at the support of the "mainstream" candidates – Bush, Rubio, Carly (yes, Carly) – they total 20%.  There's no one else with enough support worth adding.  It's 57% versus 20%.  I think at this moment that the GOP establishment is on the run.

When this race started, did you ever think that the top three candidates at any point would all be non-establishment, non-Chamber of Commerce types?  It's truly amazing.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

A new CBS poll has some expected results and some surprises.  Donald Trump is still in first with 27% support, roughly where he was before.  Ben Carson is still in second with 21%, continuing to inch up in the polls.  But the most surprising is third place.  After the last debate, Carly Fiorina had been surging.  Now she is sputtering, with only 6% support tied with low-polling-energy Jeb Bush.  The third-place candidate is now Ted Cruz, at 9%.

That means the top three candidates, who, with the exception of Bobby Jindal, represent the most conservative candidates in the race represent 57% of the GOP primary vote at this point.  Yes, I know that on some thing like trade and taxes Donald Trump is not so conservative.  But he is the best the GOP can hope for on immigratation with his wall-building, deportations, and ending of birthright citizenship.  And Ben Carson does want to offer amnesty to illegals.  But he is more conservative than other candidates on issues of fighting radical Islam and supporting gun rights.  And Ted Cruz, while not as conservative on immigration as Donald Trump (he hasn't talked about deportation or legislatively ending birthright citizenship), is more conservative on just about everything else.

I think, given the reality we live in, any of these top three would be much better than all the rest of the candidates (except Bobby Jindal).  It is true that Marco Rubio is only one percentage point behind Cruz, at 8%.  But Cruz just raised more than twice as much money than Rubio did.  At a New Hampshire libertarian conference, he nearly beat Rand Paul in a straw poll among Paul's core constituency.  Cruz also has a strong base of support among social conservatives.

If you look at the support of the "mainstream" candidates – Bush, Rubio, Carly (yes, Carly) – they total 20%.  There's no one else with enough support worth adding.  It's 57% versus 20%.  I think at this moment that the GOP establishment is on the run.

When this race started, did you ever think that the top three candidates at any point would all be non-establishment, non-Chamber of Commerce types?  It's truly amazing.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.