Donald Trump is leading the Republican field of 2016 hopefuls by a wide margin, both as a candidate and for his positions on every issue — from the economy to immigration to fighting terrorism — but he still needs to convince likely primary voters he can win against the Democrats, a new CNN/ORC poll
The poll, conducted Aug. 13-16 of 1,001 adults, found that:
- Trump now has the support of 24 percent of GOP registered voters;
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is his nearest competitor at 13 percent;
- Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has 9 percent;
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are tied at 8 percent;
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is at 6 percent;
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich all land at 5 percent;
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is at 4 percent.
Since the first GOP debate Aug. 6, Trump has gained the most traction, moving up 6 points since the last CNN/ORC poll. Carson and Fiorina were the next big gainers, rising 5 and 4 points, respectively.
Among all GOP voters, Trump has grown his approval numbers. The poll indicates 58 percent now have a favorable view of Trump, compared to 50 percent in the July survey. But among Trump supporters, he holds a whopping 98 percent favorability rate.
Still, among all registered GOP voters, most (58 percent) believe the party would have a better chance at winning the general election — and the White House — with another candidate. That includes the 72 percent who currently do not back him.
The poll also indicated that Trump has won his party's trust over his rivals on every issue.
According to the poll, 45 percent of GOP voters say they trust Trump more than any other Republican candidate on the economy, an increase of 25 points since June. Forty-four percent say they trust Trump over his rivals on illegal immigration — an increase of 30 points since June.
They also trust that Trump will be the most effective in handling the Islamic State (ISIS), at 32 percent, and on social issues with 19 percent.
"No other candidate comes close on any of these issues," CNN said.
Interestingly, on the issues of illegal immigration and the economy, Trump is far and away the No. 1 choice even among those who support a different candidate for 2016.
On the two issues of illegal immigration and the economy, conservatives have a deeper trust of Trump than of moderates with 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, the poll found that there is a slight gender gap in support for Trump. He has 27 percent support among men and 20 percent among women.
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