Trump and Carson remain comfortably atop GOP field, polls show

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On the possibility of a Trump-Carson ticket, Trump says, “Stranger things have happened.” (CNN)

Nearly half of Republican voters support Donald Trump or Ben Carson for the GOP presidential nomination, a pair of newly released national polls finds.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday, both Trump (27 percent) and Carson (22 percent) lead the rest of the Republican field by double digits, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (8 percent) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (8 percent) tied for third and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (5 percent) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (5 percent) tied for fifth. And nearly two-thirds of Republican voters choose Trump or Carson as either their first or second choices for the nomination, the poll found.

• Trump — 27 percent
• Carson — 22 percent
• Bush — 8 percent
• Rubio — 8 percent
• Huckabee — 5 percent
• Paul — 5 percent

Source: CNN/ORC poll, Oct. 14-17, 2015

An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released late Monday also shows the real estate mogul (25 percent) and retired neurosurgeon (22 percent) in first and second places, respectively, followed by Rubio (13 percent), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (9 percent) and Bush (8 percent).

• Trump — 25 percent
• Carson — 22 percent
• Rubio — 13 percent
• Cruz — 9 percent
• Bush — 8 percent

Source: NBC/WSJ poll, Oct. 15-18, 2015

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Carson and Trump campaign in Virginia last week. (Photos: Win McNamee/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Another Washington outsider, Carly Fiorina, who surged to third place in the polls following her strong performance in the second primetime GOP debate, has seen her poll numbers plummet. The CNN/ORC poll has the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive down 11 points and tied for seventh at 4 percent with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Cruz. In the NBC/WSJ poll, Fiorina fell from 11 percent last month to 7 percent in the latest survey.

When asked about the possibility of partnering with his closest rival in the polls, Trump said he’s open to the idea of a ticket featuring himself alongside Carson.

“Well, I like him,” Trump said on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday. “He likes me. Stranger things have happened, that I can tell you, but it’s too early to think about that. It certainly is interesting.”

And while Trump has led since entering the race, the GOP ticket might be stronger with Carson’s name at the top.

According to the NBC/WSJ poll, 74 percent of Republican voters said they could see themselves supporting Carson as the party’s nominee, while just 20 percent said they could not. As for Trump, 59 percent of voters said they could see themselves supporting him, versus 36 percent who could not.

And according to the CNN/ORC poll, Carson would have a better chance of beating the top three Democratic hopefuls in a general election, while Trump trails them all.

• Biden — 52 percent
• Carson — 44 percent

• Carson — 48 percent
• Sanders — 46 percent

• Carson — 48 percent
• Clinton — 47 percent

• Biden — 53 percent
• Trump — 43 percent

• Sanders — 53 percent
• Trump — 44 percent

• Clinton — 50 percent
• Trump — 45 percent

Source: CNN/ORC poll, Oct. 14-17, 2015

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