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CNN/ORC Poll: Cruz Rises to Second Behind Trump

Image: CNN/ORC Poll: Cruz Rises to Second Behind Trump

By    |   Friday, 04 Dec 2015 06:51 AM

Donald Trump remains the runaway front-runner in the latest CNN/ORC poll, coming in at 36 percent, 20 points higher than his nearest competitor Ted Cruz.

The poll of 930 registered voters, including 445 either Republicans or independents who lean Republican, found:
  • Trump: 36 percent;
  • Cruz, 16 percent;
  • Ben Carson, 14 percent
  • Marco Rubio, 12 percent;
  • Chris Christie, 4 percent;
  • Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, 3 percent;
  • Mike Huckabee and John Kasich, 2 percent;
  • Rand Paul, 1 percent;
  • Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, less than one percent.
The poll showed Carson down 8 points since October, Bush down 5 points, and Paul down four points.

Meanwhile, Cruz rose by 12 points and Trump went up by nine points. Rubio gained four which fell within the poll's margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The Republicans were deeply divided by education. Among voters with college degrees:
  • Cruz, 22 percent;
  • Carson and Rubio tied at 19 percent;
  • Trump, 18 percent;
Among those without degrees:
  • Trump, 46 percent;
  • Cruz, 12 percent;
  • Carson, 11 percent;
  • Rubio, 8 percent.
Trump also held huge leads over other Republicans on many issues, including the economy at 55 percent, giving a 46 percentage point lead over his nearest competitor. In other categories:
  • The federal budget (51 percent, up 41 points);
  • Illegal immigration (48 percent, up 34 points);
  • ISIS (46 percent, up 31 points);
  • Foreign policy (30 percent, up 13 points).
In addition, about 4 in 10 Republicans say Trump is the candidate who would be most effective at solving the country's problems:
  • Trump, 42 percent;
  • Carson, 14 percent;
  • Cruz, 12 percent;
  • Rubio, 10 percent.
Trump was also chosen the one who could best handle the responsibilities of being commander in chief:
  • Trump, 37 percent;
  • Cruz, 16 percent;
  • Carson, 11 percent;
  • Rubio, 10 percent.
Most voters, at 52 percent, said they see Trump as having the best chance to win the general election. On immigration, 53 percent of Republicans said the government should try to deport all 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States, but 73 percent said that would not be possible.

But among Trump supporters, 67 percent called for total deportation, compared to 39 percent of voters backing other candidates. But even among Trump's supporters, 55 percent said his deportation plan is not possible.

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Donald Trump's recent statements about immigration and Muslims haven't made a dent in his support, leading the GOP pack with 36 percent, according to a new poll that puts Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in second place for the first time.
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