New monthly Fox poll: Merry Christmas, Mr. Trump
posted at 8:31 am on December 19, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

We’ll kick off the weekend with the latest Fox News poll of the Republican primary race. And yes, let’s all say it together right at the top: National Polls Don’t Mean Anything. (Or so we are assured every time one of these pops up if we don’t like the result.) According to the standard rules of engagement, business mogul Donald Trump has done just about everything “wrong” that someone could possibly do when seeking national office. And each time he’s accused of doing the aforementioned wrong things, he simply doubles down on them. So how’s that working out? One month ago this survey had Trump on top with 28%. Now things have changed.

Donald Trump, a candidate even Republicans once considered a side show, increases his lead yet again in the nomination race, according to the latest Fox News national poll.

The poll also finds Ted Cruz ticking up, Marco Rubio slipping, and Ben Carson dropping.

Trump hits a high of 39 percent among Republican primary voters, up from 28 percent a month ago. The increase comes mainly from men, white evangelical Christians, and voters without a college degree — and at the expense of Carson.

This particular poll has traditionally shown some cooler numbers for most of the candidates with a larger number of undecided voters when compared to some of the other nationals. Trump was already well above thirty in November in several surveys when Fox still had him at 28. Now he’s at 39, within a couple points of recent runs from other outlets which already show him over 40. If you were hoping this was a blip in the numbers, it’s not. This is officially a trend.

Ted Cruz moved up four points to 18 (still less than half of Trump’s support) but pretty much everyone else was down. Way down in Ben Carson’s case. This may begin to answer the question of “where will Carson’s supporters go if he collapses” which we were asking two months ago. It looks like an uneven split between Trump and Cruz. Rubio has dropped to 11 and everyone else (including Jeb!) is hovering inside the margin of error at the bottom with 3% or less.

If you were wondering whether or not Trump’s call for a pause on Muslim immigration was going to come back to haunt him, you can cease speculating.

Trump’s 11-point jump in support comes after his comments about stopping non-U.S. Muslims from coming into the country.

Seven in 10 GOP primary voters are in favor of a temporary ban.

The only other item I wanted to touch on this morning was the most bizarre question in the survey and it’s one which they continue to ask:

Back in June, the Fox News poll asked whether voters felt the real-estate mogul and reality TV star was a serious candidate or a “side show.” At that time, 64 percent of GOP primary voters said Trump was a side show, rather than a serious candidate (29 percent). Today, it’s the reverse — 33 percent of GOP voters say he’s a side show and 65 percent say serious candidate.

Is Trump’s campaign a side show? Are we asking that about anyone else’s campaign, including Hillary and Jeb Bush? When the guy’s been in first place since July or so and we’re now less than a week away from Christmas, is it really still appropriate to keep asking if he’s a side show? (Assuming it was ever appropriate to begin with.) In fact, one might argue that it would be more appropriate to start asking if all of the people getting three or two percent (or zero!) who are still sticking around for some reason are the side shows. That question stuck out like a sore thumb for me because one of the chief rules in legitimate polling is to never ask any leading questions which turn your survey into a push poll. If you attach the phrase “side show” to one candidate and not the rest, you’re obviously seeding some negatives into the results.

And yet The Donald continues to rise. Go figure.