Poll: Ted Cruz Closes Gap on Donald Trump

Cruz's campaign is seeking out delegates in states that have already voted. (Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz picked up enough delegates last week to solidify his status as the leading contender to take on front-runner Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary, and a new Morning Consult national survey shows him gaining on the bombastic billionaire.

In the latest survey, taken March 4 through March 6, Cruz picked up 8 percentage points to pull within 17 points of Trump. It’s a 12-point swing from our previous poll after the New Yorker dropped four percentage points.

Related: Romney Speech Had Minimal Effect on Trump Support, Poll Shows

 March 4-6, 2016February 26-27, 2016February 24-25, 2016
Donald Trump40%44%42%
Ted Cruz23%15%14%
Marco Rubio14%14%19%
John Kasich10%5%5%
Ben Carsonn/a9%9%
Someone Else5%4%2%
Don't Know/No Opinion8%8%9%

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio remained the first choice for 14 percent of respondents, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich doubled his support from the previous poll.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintained her 16-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

 March 4-6, 2016February 26-27, 2016February 24-25, 2016
Hillary Clinton52%51%50%
Bernie Sanders36%35%35%
Someone Else5%6%5%
Don't Know/No Opinion7%9%10%

The Morning Consult survey polled 2,019 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See the toplines and crosstabs.