Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are both bearing down on real-estate magnate Donald Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a national Public Policy Polling poll released Thursday. Trump, at the same time, has seen his numbers plunge 9 points since the previous PPP poll in December.
The poll showed Trump in the lead at 25 percent of support, while Rubio and Cruz were tied at 21 percent. None of the other remaining contenders approached the three-man competition. Only former neurosurgeon Ben Carson even broke into double digits at 11 percent. This represents a substantial drop for Trump from 34 percent in the December poll, which gave him a far wider lead over Cruz, at 18 percent, and Rubio, at 13 percent.
These results comes in the wake of an upset result in Iowa, where Cruz beat out Trump and Rubio made an unexpectedly strong third-place showing. The question of New Hampshire, where Trump remains a clear favorite and polls show Cruz and Rubio dueling for a much more distant second place, now looms over the newly unsettled race for the GOP nomination.
The PPP poll was carried out from Feb. 2-3. Pollsters surveyed 531 likely Republican voters nationwide by a combined telephone and internet survey, with a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.
This post has been updated.