The CNN/ORC survey shows Trump’s campaign muscle: He has 36 percent of support among poll respondents, 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in second place, trails Trump with 16 percent of those surveyed favouring him. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson comes in at 14 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 12 percent. No other candidate breaks a 5 percent threshold.
Since the last CNN/ORC poll in October, some candidates have seen a steep decline in national support. Carson lost 8 points from the previous survey, when he had registered in second place. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is down 5 points to 3 percent, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is down 4 points to 1 percent of support.
The real estate mogul also dominates when it comes to issues voters identify as most important to them. Survey respondents said Trump was best qualified to handle the economy at an overwhelming 55 percent (Cruz is next with 9 percent), along with illegal immigration, ISIS threats, foreign policy, and the federal budget.
A majority of Republican voters (52 percent) also point to Trump as the GOP hopeful with the best chances to win November’s general election. Fifteen percent believe that of Rubio, 11 percent for Cruz, and 10 percent for Carson.
The poll was taken before Wednesday’s San Bernardino shooting, from November 27 – December 1, 2015. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is running neck-and-neck against five of the top Republican presidential candidates, Clinton has a slight edge against the leading two GOP candidates, businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who took the top two slots in the GOP pack.
Clinton leads Trump by 3 points with 49% support and tops Cruz by the same margin with 50%, within the poll’s plus or minus 3-percentage point margin of error, according to the CNN/ORC poll that pitted Clinton against five top Republican contenders.
Democrats face a tougher presidential contest when Clinton is pitted against Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Carson leads Clinton by three points while Rubio and Bush are locked in a dead heat with the former secretary of state.
Rubio takes 49% to Clinton’s 48% of support while Bush has 47% of support to Clinton’s 49%, among the 930 registered voters surveyed in the CNN/ORC poll.
Clinton prevails by wide margins among women against all five Republicans tested, with her widest margin topping out at 15 percentage points when matched against both Trump and Cruz.
Rubio comes closest to closing that gap, trailing Clinton by 9 points among women.