The summer of Trump, which became the autumn of Trump, now looks set to turn the page to the winter of Trump.
Real-estate mogul Donald Trump is heading into the new year with a sizeable lead over the rest of the Republican presidential field, according to a new CNN/ORC national poll out Wednesday.
Trump leads the GOP field with 39% support, according to the poll. The next-closest contender is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who Trump doubled and who garnered 18% in the survey.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) followed the top-two candidates, each grabbing 10% of the Republican vote. No other candidate received more than 5%.
Trump was up 3 points from CNN’s November survey, while Cruz inched up 2 points. Carson saw his support fall 4 points from the previous survey, while Rubio’s level dipped 2 points.
Trump is averaging 35.1% support in the last eight Republican primary surveys, according to Real Clear Politics. As 2015 comes to a close, Trump has led all but two national surveys since July, when he first seized control of the GOP race.
His strength in the survey is based largely on Republican voters’ belief that he is best suited to handle the top issues facing the US. Overall, pluralities chose him as the best candidate to handle the economy (57%), illegal immigration (55%), and the terrorist group ISIS (47%). No other candidate comes within 25 points of Trump on any of the three issues.
And Republicans believe more and more than Trump is their best bet to beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election. According to the poll, 46% of Republican voters said Republicans will have a better chance to win the 2016 election with Trump as the nominee. That number is up 8 points from August.
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