Fresh off the Nevada Republican caucus, the remaining five GOP presidential candidates are scheduled to duke it out Thursday night in a debate in Houston. The event will serve as the last chance the candidates will have to face off before next week's Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, when a slew of states will be voting at once. Here’s a look at the latest polling numbers heading into the highly anticipated Houston debate.
After claiming victory in Nevada, along with wins in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, the billionaire businessman holds a hefty lead in the polls. A Ramussen Reports national telephone survey taken Feb. 21-22 of likely Republican voters found Trump with support from 36 percent of voters, and a Fox News poll taken Feb. 15- 17 had the real estate mogul in the lead, also with 36 percent. Trump also leads with 50 percent of the vote in Massachusetts — one of the states slated to vote Super Tuesday — according to a recent Emerson College Polling Society poll, which consisted of 289 likely GOP primary voters.
After winning the Iowa Republican caucus earlier this month, the U.S. senator from Texas continues to trail Trump. The Rasmussen Reports poll found Cruz has support from 17 percent of voters, while the Fox News poll has the Texas senator at 19 percent. In his home state, Cruz is just a smidge in front of Trump; a poll taken of 446 likely primary voters conducted Feb. 21-23 from Emerson College had Cruz at 29 percent and Trump at 28 percent. Texans are also expected to vote Super Tuesday.
The U.S. senator from Florida remains muddled in the middle of the polls headed into Thursday night’s debate. The Rasmussen Reports poll has Cruz at 21 percent, ahead of Cruz but behind Trump, and the Fox News poll has him at 15 percent, trailing both Cruz and Trump. A University of Texas-Texas Tribune survey released Tuesday, conducted Feb. 12-19, found Rubio lagging behind with 15 percent support in Texas.
Despite a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primaries, multiple polls found the Ohio governor trailing Trump, Cruz and Rubio. The Rasmussen Reports poll has Kasich in fourth place at 12 percent, and the Fox News poll also has him in the No. 4 spot at 8 percent. In his home state, a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found Kasich behind Trump, with Kasich at 26 percent and Trump at 31 percent.
The retired neurosurgeon appeared at the bottom of the GOP field in a majority of recent polls, as he continues to lag further behind in the race. The Rasmussen Reports poll has Carson in last place with 8 percent, and the Fox News poll has him in fourth place — slightly ahead of Kasich — with 9 percent. In the Emerson College survey, Carson is in last place in Texas with 4 percent; and in Massachusetts, the recent Emerson College Polling Society poll has him at 2 percent. Still, Carson reportedly plans on holding out from suspending his campaign through Super Tuesday.