Donald Trump is still the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President–but it looks like the once-untouchable candidate is falling to earth.
Trump, who has led every poll for months by increasingly larger shares of the vote, has fallen to second place in the latest IBD/TOPP poll–seven points behind pediatric neurosurgeon, Ben Carson.
24% of Republicans back Carson, and just 17% now support Trump.
While one poll could be an outlier–and it’s worth noting that this is, so far, the only poll that has Trump losing his edge–IBD/TIPP has a reputation for accuracy. In 2012, they were declared (after the election) to have had the most consistently correct polls.
But Trump’s numbers have been on the downswing since the second Republican debate, when he was largely seen as being wounded by attacks from former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, who is now in third place in the polls behind Trump and Carson. At one point during the debate, Trump went silent for 40 minutes as other opponents answered questions.
Part of Trump’s appeal is his reputation for saying what many Republicans were thinking–but no politician would say out loud. Trump’s business prowess and his unwillingness to apologize for his multi-billion dollar fortune also gave him a confident swagger than many people felt have been missing from America over the past several years.
As the election’s moved on, Trump’s had to rely less on his speaking and spell out more specifics–and, according to many, he’s fallen short. Many of his plans are more liberal than mainstream Republican ideas–and many have been panned by policy wonks as being unworkable.
Regardless of what happens with Donald Trump’s poll numbers in coming weeks, it’s at least clear that he’s no longer untouchable–and has his work cut out for him to restore some of his lost support.