Real-estate mogul Donald Trump’s front-running presidential campaign isn’t slowing down, polls released Sunday and Monday found.
Trump held the No. 1 position in the three early primary states surveyed by the CBS News Battleground Tracker out Sunday.
Trump held 29% support among Republican likely caucus voters in Iowa, compared to 25% for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and 10% for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
In New Hampshire, Trump had 40%, compared to 12% for Carson, 9% for Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), and 8% for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
And In South Carolina, Trump had 36% and Carson had 21%. No one else was close.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday morning also found Trump ahead among Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters nationally. Trump led Carson 33% to 20%.
Despite his dominating position, the poll also found some worrying signs for Trump, especially regarding how voters perceive the outspoken — and often unpredictable — businessman’s personal attributes.
“The results are remarkable, particularly in the Republican contest,” the ABC/Washington Post pollster wrote. “Even as Trump’s lead for his party’s nomination has grown, six in 10 Americans see him as unqualified to serve as president and as many say he lacks the personality and temperament to succeed in the job.”
But that same survey may have even more troubling signs for the Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Her support among Democrats has dropped by one-third since July, when the pollster last surveyed the primary.
Just 42% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents now say they support her, compared to 24% for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who’s running as a Democrat, and 21% for Vice President Joe Biden, who is still deciding whether to enter the race.
Like Trump, the ABC/Washington Post poll also found that voters have serious concerns about Clinton’s personal attributes. Indeed, the pollster’s write-up of the results said Clinton’s “trajectory leaves no question that she has trouble”:
Just 39 per cent now see her as honest and trustworthy, matching her career low; that has dropped by 14 points since last summer. At 46 per cent, her rating for empathy — understanding the problems of average Americans — is at a career low (albeit by a single point). Her support in the primary has tanked in particular among women, previously a mainstay of her candidacy, from 71 per cent in July to 42 per cent now.
The email imbroglio is part of it. Fifty-five per cent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, disapprove of Clinton’s handling of questions about the matter, 54 per cent think she’s tried to cover it up and 51 per cent think she broke government regulations by using a private server for work-related email during her time as secretary of state.
Meanwhile, the CBS tracker found Sanders surging in the key early-voting states.
In Iowa, Sanders garnered 43% support among likely Democratic caucus voters, compared to 33% for Clinton and 10% for Biden.
In New Hampshire, which borders Sanders’ home state of Vermont, the senator dominates even more. Sanders had 52% support among likely Democratic primary voters there, compared to 30% for Clinton and 9% for Biden.
South Carolina and its more diverse electorate may serve as a firewall for Clinton, however. Palmetto State primary voters backed Clinton over Sanders, 46% to 23%. Biden also posted his best early-state performance there, with 22% support.
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