Phillip Bump, Washington Post:
I am now going to say something controversial that will result in mean e-mails from people: Few experienced political observers think that either Trump or Carson will be the party’s nominee. That’s at odds with a lot of voters, mind you. A recent CBS poll suggested that Republican primary voters rank Trump and Carson first and second in having the best shot at winning a general election next year — meaning that people are confident that they’re acceptable nominees.
Why do experts disagree? In part because experts like to have opinions on things, myself included. But also in part because past nominees haven’t looked or acted like Trump and Carson. They have had experience in elected office and have racked up endorsements from established politicians. They have the backing of big donors. That sort of thing. And also because we saw candidates like Carson and Trump (to at least some extent) surge in 2012, only to once again recede.
But if you think Trump and Carson won’t make it across the finish line, it raises the question of who will.
Fox also asked people who they’d back in the Republican primary as a second choice. The poll outlines how each candidate would do without Trump, Carson and Bush in the race, allowing us to see the effect of one of those three dropping out.