Ben Carson Takes Narrow Lead Over Donald Trump Nationwide

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Supporters of Ben Carson congregate near his book tour bus after a signing in Ames, Iowa, on October 2. Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

Ben Carson has gained a slight lead over Donald Trump in the Republican presidential race nationwide, according to a new poll.

Among Republican primary voters, 26 percent said they want Carson to be the next president, followed by 22 percent who said the same for Trump, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll released Tuesday. Though Carson's lead is narrow, it marks the first time he has surpassed Trump since the Times and CBS began measuring presidential choices at the end of July. Support for Carson has quadrupled since August.

No other GOP candidate came close to the two contenders. Florida Senator Marco Rubio ranked third, with 8 percent of support, followed by former businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, both with 7 percent. All other candidates are at 4 percent or lower.

The poll was conducted between October 21 and 25 among a random sample of 1,289 adults nationwide. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In two separate polls last week, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, led real estate mogul Trump in the early primary state of Iowa. The Hawkeye State holds the first major electoral event of the nominating process in the presidential election. The first votes will be cast there on February 1.

There are now 15 candidates in the Republican field, down from 17 after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently decided to end their presidential campaigns.

The results were published a day before the third Republican debate. The top-polling contenders will meet Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The lower-polling candidates will face off in an earlier, unofficial debate.