In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Carson had 29 percent support. Real estate mogul Donald Trump followed at 23 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) had 11.
The survey also showed that 50 percent of Republican primary voters chose Carson as either their first or second choice in the GOP race.
It's the second national poll Carson has beat out Trump. A CBS News/New York Times poll released last week also placed the former surgeon at the top spot.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted from Oct. 25 to Oct. 29 among 400 GOP primary voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.9 percentage points.