Donald Trump is at a new high point for the GOP presidential nomination, with 41 percent of Republican voters nationwide now backing him, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.
His numbers are more than double the support garnered by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who came in at 19 percent. More than two-thirds of Republicans polled said they believe Trump is the candidate who will most likely win the GOP nomination.
By the numbers:
- Trump, 41 percent;
- Cruz, 19 percent;
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 8 percent;
- Dr. Ben Carson, 6 percent;
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 5 percent;
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 4 percent;
- Remainder of field: 3 percent or less.
The numbers are fair consistent with the CNN/ORC December poll, which put Trump at 39 percent, Cruz at 18 percent and Rubio at 10 percent. Carson's 4-point dip, from 10 percent to 6 percent, was the largest change, but given the current poll's five percent margin of error, it was not large enough to change his status.
Trump also holds the lead among several GOP subgroups, including leading among both men and women, younger and older voters, white evangelicals, and conservatives. Further, 70 percent of Trump's supporters said they won't likely change their minds.
Trump's lead was less dominant among college graduates and tea party supporters. Twenty six percent of people holding degrees backed Trump, with 20 percent for Cruz. Tea party supporters were divided by 37 percent for Trump and 34 percent for Cruz.
GOP voters are also more enthusiastic over a Trump nomination:
- 40 percent more enthusiastic over Trump;
- 25 percent for Cruz;
- 18 percent for Rubio.
On handling the economy Trump pulled 60 percent, for a 48-point lead over Cruz, and 55 percent to 16 percent over Cruz on handling illegal immigration.
Trump also pulled ahead of Cruz on:
- Social issues, 28 percent Trump; 24 percent Cruz;
- Best representing GOP values, 34 percent Trump, 25 percent Cruz.
- Out of 55 percent who said the feel unrepresented by the government, 47 percent picked Trump and 19 percent picked Cruz.
- Best able to win in November: Trump, 63 percent; Cruz, 16 percent; 10 percent, Rubio.
Trump, though, fared worse than Cruz or Rubio against Democrats Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders:
- Against Clinton: Rubio and Cruz, 50 percent; Trump, 47 percent.
- Against Sanders: Rubio, 49 percent; Trump and Cruz, 50 percent.
Overall, 56 percent said they believe Trump will win the nomination, rising to 68 percent among GOP voters. However, last summer 40 percent said they thought Bush would win, compared to 5 percent now.
The poll was conducted by telephone January 21-24 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, and carried an overall margin of error of 3 percentage points.
For results among the 405 registered voters who are Democrats or independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 5.0 percentage points.
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