Poll: Ben Carson surges, a top threat to Hillary Clinton in 2016

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Marco Rubio,Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,Rand Paul,Ted Cruz,Campaigns,Chris Christie,Rick Perry,Ben Carson

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, Obamacare critic and New York Times best-selling author, has become a surprise top challenger to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 2016 presidential matchup, according to a new poll.

Rasmussen Reports finds that Carson places just behind Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as Clinton's closest competitor. In the new poll out Monday, Clinton would beat Carson 45 percent to 38 percent and would beat Paul 46 percent to 39 percent.

The poll shows that no Republican would beat Clinton if the election were held today, but it also finds that Clinton's majority standing has dropped and that she would get 50 percent of the vote only in a race against either Texas Gov. Rick Perry or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

If the election were held today, these would be the results:

Clinton 46 percent – Paul 39 percent.

Clinton 45 percent – Carson 38 percent.

Clinton 50 percent – Cruz 37 percent.

Clinton 50 percent – Perry 36 percent.

Clinton 47 percent - Sen. Marco Rubio 36 percent.

Clinton 47 percent - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 33 percent.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.