Biggest winner in CNN’s latest national poll? Ted Cruz

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Trump holds firm at number 1 though with a 20 point lead

CNN’s latest poll reveals that while Trump has gained 9 points and now holds a 20 point lead over the rest of the GOP field, the biggest jump went to Ted Cruz who gained a whopping 12 points from the last poll.

The poll puts the top four candidates as :

1) Donald trump – 36% (up 9 points)

2) Ted Cruz – 16% (up 12 points)

3) Dr Ben Carson – 14% (down 8 points)

4) Marco Rubio – 12% (up 4 points)

T720px-Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_Congressrump’s rise and stability as the top GOP candidate in the polls is evidence of the media’s diminished ability to exert a major influence on the polls. Both the Left and even the Right media have taken turns attacking Trump, some going so far as to compare him to a Nazi, and yet Trump keeps rising. At every junction where the murmurs are “This is sure to sink him,” he carries on. Like the little engine that could.

It’s even gotten to the point where bad press is helping Trump. People like the underdog. And while Trump may not be the underdog from a financial perspective, the media makes him the underdog with their constant criticism, whether it’s warranted or not.

Trump’s recently seemed to recant on a pledge he made in September of this year not to run Third Party saying “I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly.” He’s got the GOP between a rock and hard place, because if he doesn’t win the nomination, he an play spoiler, go third party, split the GOP vote and ensure a Democrat win in the next election.

As candidates start dropping out, Cruz is likely to rise because he has built a rock solid campaign, his growth has been steady and he has been unflinching from a Conservative point of view. He may have suffered disdain from liberal publications, but Cruz has built up trust with the Conservative base due to his consistent Constitutionalist stance.

Bearing in mind that Trump is a “love him or hate him “ candidate among GOP voters, there is no way to be certain of what the outcome would be in 4 horse, 3 horse, or even 2 horse race. Trump’s capitalizing off the division of his opposition, but as candidates drop out and the support against Trump unifies, who knows what could happen. The race is far from over.

If Trump loses the nomination, the GOP nominee is going to have to seriously consider making him their choice for VP, if he’ll take it. It’s the only way to kill two birds with one stone, being:

1) ensuring that Trump won’t go Third Party; and

2) gaining the vote of those that love Trump.

The debates have helped both Cruz and Rubio who both excel on that platform. Trump and Cruz have so far refrained from attacking each other. Even when Cruz disagreed with Trump’s idea of running a Muslim database (most Constitutionalists would disagree with Trump on that), he started with “I am a big fan of Trump, but…” And Trump has previously said that he would consider Cruz for his VP if he got the nomination. So there appears to be a mutual respect between the two that so far, is weathering the fact that Cruz could become Trump’s strongest challenger.

No matter how you cut it, with Trump showing 36% in polls at the moment, and the rest of the large field sharing the remaining 67%, this race is still wide open and it’s going to be very interesting to see who will take one for the team and drop out so that Trump’s opposition can consolidate and give him a real run.