Whoa.

Ben Carson has a double-digit lead in North Carolina over the rest of the 2016 GOP presidential field, a new poll finds.

Carson takes 31 percent support from Republican-leaning voters in the state, according to the Elon University survey released Thursday.

That gives him a 12-point edge over his closest competition, Donald Trump, who is at 19 percent.

Sens. [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] (R-Fla.) and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] (R-Texas) tie for third and fourth with 9.7 percent each. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) follows with 4.6 percent.

So this is a poll of GOP voters plus GOP leaners in North Carolina. North Carolina’s primary is on March 1 March 15 (the date was moved forward in October 2015, my mistake) and is part of the Super Tuesday event.

While the numbers are different from the Quinnipiac poll released yesterday, what they have in common is that Carson is now in front of Trump and the top four candidates are rounded out by [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] in a statistical tie.

Trump has stepped up his attacks on Ben Carson showing that he thinks the polls are real (live by the polls, die by the polls) but my expectation would be that a guy like Trump attacking his personality (and melanin) polar opposite is not going to help him a whole lot. A candidate like Trump has to be seen to be winning and invincible, if they stop moving they die. If this slide continues it will shortly turn into a tsunami of #FAIL. Then the question is whether Trump stays in the race if he is in second or even third place? Of does he get out?