Cruz noted that the poll would signify the first time in many months that Trump wasn’t well out front, where most polls still place him.
The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls — even including the NBC/WSJ poll — had Trump with 33.8 percent, followed by Cruz with 21 percent and Rubio with 16.3 percent. In a new Fox Poll released Thursday, Trump leads nationally with 36 percent among Republican voters to 19 percent for Cruz and 15 percent for Rubio.
Bill McInturff, who with Democratic pollster Peter Hart conducted the NBC/WSJ survey, said it’s too soon to know whether they were “right on top of a shift in the campaign” or “if it is a momentary pause before the numbers snap back into place.”
For more on this poll and where the candidates stand going into South Carolina, click here.