He has opened up a 16-point lead over Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), his chief GOP rival, in South Carolina. And he holds a more than two-to-one lead in Nevada over both Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida).
Perhaps more impressive, however, is his strength on the underlying issues with GOP voters in each state.
In South Carolina, when Republican voters were asked who could best handle…
- The economy, 58% said Trump. That was 44 points higher than Cruz.
- Illegal immigration, 53% said Trump. That was 35 points higher than Cruz.
- Foreign policy, 29% said Trump. That led the GOP field.
- ISIS, 44% said Trump. That was more than 20 points above Cruz.
Trump also narrowly held an advantage over Cruz when it came to which candidate Republican voters viewed as best representing their party’s values. Six-in-10 GOP voters said they thought Trump was most likely to “change the way things work in Washington.” Finally, a majority — 53% — said Trump had the best chance of winning the general election in November.
In Nevada, meanwhile, when Republican voters were asked who could best handle…
- The economy, 61% said Trump, almost 50 points higher than Cruz.
- Illegal immigration, 58% said Trump. That was more than 40 points above Cruz.
- Foreign policy, 42% said Trump, more than 20 points ahead of Cruz.
- ISIS, 55% said Trump, almost 40 points ahead of Cruz.
Trump also led Cruz, 35% to 22%, on the question of which candidate best represented Republican values. More than six-in-10 voters (64%) said he was most likely to change Washington culture. And 56% of Nevada Republicans said he had the best chance of winning November’s general election.
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