Washington: Ahead of Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, party frontrunner Donald Trump has climbed to his highest support yet in a new national poll with a broad 41 percent support from Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters.
The Monmouth University poll conducted Dec 10-13, the first after the real estate mogul proposed temporarily banning the entry of all Muslims to the US, found him holding a staggering 27-point lead over Senator Ted Cruz with just 14 percent support.
Senator Marco Rubio had 10 percent support and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson had 9 percent. Trump climbed 13 percentage points since the last Monmouth University poll in late October.
“Trump is tapping into the phenomenon,” said Patrick Murray, who leads the Monmouth poll. “The more he says things that make the Republican leaders cringe, the more he attracts people to his side.”
The poll underscores Trump’s success at keeping voters fixated on his unprecedented presidential campaign, commented influential political news site Politico.
Trump celebrated the favourable findings with a series of tweets and a post on Facebook, featuring a graphic, that was shortly taken down after posting, without explanation.
“Looks like we just broke another polling ceiling,” he wrote to his followers. “While the establishment schemes to nominate someone they control – the voters are clearly indicating that they want someone who will fix the broken political system in DC. Thank you for your support! We will ?#?MakeAmericaGreatAgain!”
The numbers represent a boost for Trump after a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register survey of likely Iowa Republican caucus participants on Saturday found that Cruz held a 10-point advantage over Trump.
A Fox News poll gave Cruz a 28 percent-to-26 percent edge. In still another Iowa survey released Monday from Quinnipiac University, likely caucus-goers again indicated an essentially knotted race, with Trump at 28 percent and Cruz at 27 percent, virtually doubling Rubio’s 14 percent.
But notwithstanding Trump’s lead among the Republicans nationally, a new Wall Street Journal-NBC poll suggested Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton would beat him by 50 percent to 40 percent in a head-to-head matchup in the Nov 2016 presidential election.
She would also beat Cruz by 48 percent to 45 percent. However, at this point in the campaign, the poll found that the former secretary of state would not win against Marco Rubio or Ben Carson.
Rubio would get 48 percent of the vote, compared to 45 percent for Clinton. Although Carson has been losing support rapidly to Cruz, he would win 47 percent of the vote, compared to Clinton’s 46 percent, according to the poll.