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Good news for Republicans: You might actually have a candidate with a solid chance to take down Donald Trump. The bad news: It’s Ben Carson.

In the new Monmouth University poll, Trump leads the overall field with 30 percent support, followed by Carson at 18 percent, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at 8 percent each, and 5 percent for Marco Rubio.

The pollster also tested Trump in one-on-one trial heats against GOP alternatives — simulating a sort of runoff election, to see whether Trump might just be ahead due to the rest of the field being so divided. And out of nine tests, only one candidate, the retired neurosurgeon and fellow anti-establishment insurgent Carson, bested The Donald. Indeed, Trump is simply obliterating the competition in most of these showdowns.

  • Trump 56 percent, Bush 37 percent
  • Trump 63 percent, Christie 30 percent
  • Trump 62 percent, Kasich 29 percent
  • Trump 60 percent, Paul 27 percent
  • Trump 53 percent, Walker 38 percent
  • Trump 52 percent, Rubio 38 percent
  • Trump 50 percent, Fiorina 37 percent
  • Trump 48 percent, Cruz 41 percent

By contrast, Carson would actually lead Trump by a landslide, 55 percent to 36 percent. Perhaps the good doctor is voicing all of the same right-wing craziness as The Donald — but in a much nicer, soft-spoken package. Maybe Republicans just really want someone with no political experience.

Photo: Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson answers a question at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

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Dr. Mehmet Oz and Sean Hannity

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Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity is priming his audience to see election fraud in any defeat for Dr. Mehmet Oz, his favored candidate who currently leads the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania with two percent of votes outstanding. If the fast-closing hedge funder Dave McCormick takes the lead and the Oz camp claims the election has been stolen, it could set up a potentially explosive proxy war with Hannity’s colleague Laura Ingraham, whose Fox program favors McCormick and has suggested he is likely to prevail when all the votes are counted.

The GOP primary was a chaotic slugfest that split Fox’s slate of pro-GOP hosts in an unusually public way. Hannity was Oz’s most prominent supporter, reportedly securing the support of former President Donald Trump and using his program to endorse the TV personality, give him a regular platform, and target the challenge from right-wing commentator and Fox & Friends regular Kathy Barnette. Ingraham, meanwhile, used her Fox program (which airs in the hour following Hannity’s) to promote McCormick, criticize Oz, and defend Barnette.

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Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

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