I wanted to include this data from a new national survey in this morning’s post about Scott Walker because I suspected what it might show, but the folks at PPP had their own timetable. Still, the news is so striking that it’s worth another post:

PPP’s newest national Republican poll finds a clear leader in the race for
the first time: Scott Walker is at 25% to 18% for Ben Carson, 17% for Jeb Bush, and 10%
for Mike Huckabee. Rounding out the field of contenders are Chris Christie and Ted Cruz
at 5%, Rand Paul at 4%, and Rick Perry and Marco Rubio at 3%.
Walker has more than doubled his support since his 11% standing on our January
national poll, and Carson has moved up 3 points. Bush, Huckabee, Paul, and Perry have
largely stayed in place while Cruz has dropped 4 points and Christie has dropped 2

Walker is climbing fast in the polling because of his appeal to the most conservative elements of the Republican electorate. Among ‘very conservative’ voters he leads with 37% to 19% for Carson, 12% for Bush, and 11% for Huckabee. Bush has a similarly
large lead over Walker with moderates at 34/12…the problem for Bush though is that
there are two times more GOP primary voters who identify as ‘very conservative’ than
there are ones who identify as moderates.

Carson’s second-place standing is rather startling as well. If you figure he’s going to fade before long, it’s worth noting his “base” is among very conservative voters as well, which could be more good news for Walker and bad news for Jebbie.

This poll was taken over a three-day period–February 20-22–during which the whole Giuliani/Walker story was percolating, so it’s very clear it didn’t hurt Walker among Republicans.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.