While nothing seems to be able to topple Donald "Teflon Don" Trump, Ben Carson isn't enjoying the same kind of luck. The former neurosurgeon plummeted 7 percentage points in a newly released Quinnipiac University poll, falling to third place with 16%, Politico reports. Meanwhile, Trump absorbed 3 points, boosting him to a healthy lead of 27%. Ascending to second-place position in the poll: Marco Rubio, who gained 3 percentage points for a total of 17%. Ted Cruz also drew in 3 additional points to tie Carson at 16%, while Jeb Bush languishes in a distant fifth place with 5%. The rest of the GOP comes in at 3% or less. The poll surveyed 1,453 registered voters between Nov. 23-30, with a 2.6-point margin of error.
What seemed to precipitate Carson's sudden dip—he was "deadlocked" with Trump just a month ago, the New York Times points out—were flaps over both his origin story and his apparent lack of foreign policy knowledge. Carson isn't letting on, though, that he's fazed by the latest setback. "Poll numbers will go up and down," he told Matt Lauer Tuesday on the Today show. "It's a marathon, not a sprint." The assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll adds his own take. "Dr. Ben Carson, moving to center stage just one month ago, now needs some CPR," Tim Malloy says. "The Doctor sinks. The Donald soars. The GOP, 11 months from the election, has to be thinking, 'This could be the guy.'" Meanwhile, on the Dems' side, Hillary Clinton maintains a large lead over Bernie Sanders (60% to 30%), with Martin O'Malley barely making a blip at 2%. (Carson's unusual theory about the pyramids probably didn't do him any favors.)