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Poll: Ben Carson overtakes Donald Trump among Arizona GOP voters

Ben Carson, right, and Donald Trump laugh together during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

PHOENIX — Arizona Republicans are now more likely to vote for Dr. Ben Carson than mogul and television personality Donald Trump in 2016, a Thursday poll showed.

The poll, conducted by MBQF Consulting, asked 1,057 high-efficacy Republican voters which GOP candidate they would vote for in the 2016 election.

The results said 25.5 percent of Republican voters back Carson, while 24.8 percent back Trump. Carson’s lead does fall within the poll’s margin of error.

Last month, Trump led Arizona voters by about 8 percentage points.

Trump is also trailing Carson in some national polls.

“Well, I don’t get it,” a confounded Trump said this week when asked to explain why the preference polls he touts every time he’s campaigning no longer show him as the unquestioned leader of the GOP’s 2016 presidential field.

Ahead of Wednesday’s debate, Valley political analyst Chris Herstam said Carson will face a new challenge as the limelight shifts his way.

“People will want to know where he really stands on the issues,” Herstam said.

Trailing Trump and Carson in Arizona — by about 10 percentage points — were Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Other candidates, such as Carly Fiorina, Gov. John Kasich and Gov. Chris Christie, have support in the single digits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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