'Total joke': Donald Trump rips shock poll that showed Ted Cruz surging past him

Trump Falls to Second Place in New Poll
Trump Falls to Second Place in New Poll

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump took a shot at the media on Thursday for promoting the supposedly "phony" poll showing him behind Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) nationally.

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In a surprising development the day before, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey found Cruz leading among GOP primary voters with a 28 percent plurality. Trump was just behind with 26 percent.

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That was the first time a national poll had found Cruz beating Trump. But as Trump noted on Twitter, other polls have found him comfortably ahead.

"Amazing that while I lead by big numbers in the new Q and and USA Today polls, the the press only wants to report on the phony WSJ/NBC poll," the presidential candidate tweeted Thursday morning.

The recent national surveys have indeed been all over the map. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found Trump with his highest total yet -- 39 percent -- in that survey, and easily ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Florida) 19 percent and Cruz's 18 percent.

And a CBS News poll released Thursday showed Trump with a similar national lead. That survey found that Trump had 35 percent support nationally, compared to Cruz's 18 percent and Rubio's 12 percent. After seeing the CBS results, Trump further called NBC/WSJ poll a "total joke":

New CBS National Poll just out -- massive lead for Trump. The Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll is a total joke. No wonder WSJ is doing so badly!

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"I have never done well in the Wall Street Journal poll. I think somebody at Wall Street Journal doesn't like me," the mogul said, according to a transcript. "They do these small samples and I don't know exactly what it represents," he added.

RCP Poll Average for Donald Trump InsideGov

Trump has previously questioned the credibility of polls showing him behind only to completely reverse himself once the same pollster later found him ahead.

He remains the front-runner in Saturday's Republican primary in South Carolina, where the surveys have all found him easily beating his rivals. Trump noted his lead there in another Thursday tweet:

I love being in South Carolina. We are leading big in all of the State polls -- Saturday is a BIG day. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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