Donald Trump is still atop the polls, with the Republican frontrunner building his lead amid his response to the the terrorist attacks in Paris and the uncertainty that it has brought for the United States.
Trump is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination for the fourth consecutive month, a new national poll by the Washington Post and ABC News showed. Trump had 32 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the poll found. The next closest candidate is neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was ten full percentage points behind, at 22 percent support.
WAPO/ABC Poll: Even with tiny sample, Trump dominates at 32%. https://t.co/xzwVj7JRhT
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) November 22, 2015
Donald Trump appears to be pulling away in the polls, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio the only other candidate to crack double-digit support, with 11 percent. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has 8 percent support, while former Florida Governor Jeb Bush fell to 6 percent, his lowest point in two years of the survey being taken. All other candidates were in the low single digits.
For months, many political experts believed Donald Trump would fall back to earth, as he has in past flirtations with running for president. But instead, the opposite has happened, with the real estate mogul cementing his place atop the polls and holding off the expected charge from more “established” candidates like Bush and Rubio.
The poll found that Republicans are more engaged this year than they had been in the past — 82 percent say they are following the election closely, up 8 percentage points from 2011 and 16 percentage points from 2007.
Donald Trump shored up his support in polls, even amid controversy over his remarks about Muslims and Syrian immigrants. In the wake of the terrorist attack in Paris last week, Trump doubled down on his vow to send Syrian immigrants back home if he were elected. He also appeared to support a registry for Muslims and other tight measures in the name of national security.
— POLITICO (@politico) November 21, 2015
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” he said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
The New York Times noted that Trump walked back his comments on the registry for Muslims, but did not entirely distance himself from the idea.
“By Friday, though, he appeared to pull back slightly from the idea. In a post on Twitter, Mr. Trump complained that it was a reporter, not he, who had first raised the idea of a database. And his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, insisted that Mr. Trump had been asked leading questions by the NBC reporter under ‘blaring music’ and that he had in mind a terrorist watch list, not a registry of Muslims.
“Still, nowhere, even on Friday, did Mr. Trump, who has rarely acknowledged being at fault in a campaign predicated on his strength as a leader, clearly state that he was opposed to the idea of a registry of Muslims.”
Now will start the most critical stretch for Donald Trump and his lead in the polls. With just weeks remaining until the first primaries starts, he will need to hold onto the leads and hold off challengers like Bush, who has the advantage of a more robust on-the-ground campaign and the backing of the Republican establishment.
[Image via Instagram/Donald Trump]