Real-estate mogul Donald Trump has opened up his lead among Republican primary voters to nearly 20 points, according to a new New York Times/CBS poll out Thursday.
Trump garnered the support of 35% of Republican voters nationally, a 13-point increase from the last New York Times/CBS survey. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), at 16%, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, at 13%, were his closest competitors. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) was in fourth place, at 9%.
The Times noted that it was Trump’s “strongest position yet” in the survey.
The poll was mostly conducted before Trump’s statement on Monday pledging to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US. Those comments have caused a firestorm both in and outside of the Republican Party.
Other polls, however, have already signalled that Trump may benefit from his proposal. A Bloomberg Politics survey released Wednesday found that nearly two-thirds of Republican primary voters backed his plan. And a Fox News poll of South Carolina Republicans found Trump gaining support in the days after announcing the proposal.
In the previous Times/CBS survey, taken in late October, Trump trailed Carson by a 26% to 22% margin. Cruz has nearly tripled his own support from October, while Rubio’s support remained flat.
All other Republican candidates in Thursday’s poll received 4% or less support. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a 20-point lead over her closest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
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