Donald Trump remains atop national polls as the first primaries are now just weeks away, and the Republican frontrunner now appears to be taking a stranglehold on his status atop the race.
Trump has been leading the polls for more than five months now, and this week a CNN/ORC poll found Trump with his biggest lead of the entire race, up 21 points over Senator Ted Cruz. As Business Insider explained, Trump’s advantage became even clearer inside the poll’s numbers, as he is growing on American voters who now see him as having a strong chance to actually win in 2016.
In July, just 51 percent of Republican voters had a favorable view of Donald Trump, but in December that rose to 72 percent. As voters grow to like Trump more, they also see him as more capable of taking on Hillary Clinton. In August, only 38 percent of Republican voters said Trump had a “better chance” of winning the presidency, while 58 percent said the party would be better off with another candidate.
But by December, 46 percent of Republicans believed Trump had the best chance of winning among Republicans. Another 50 percent said he was not, meaning that voters are fractured and there may not be one candidate with enough support to topple Trump.
As the report added, Trump has support of voters on key issues like taking on ISIS and improving the economy.
“In most presidential election cycles, this is perhaps the key question: Which president will help the economy, and therefore the average voter’s wallet? In June, right after Trump announced his candidacy, 20% of Republican voters thought that he could best handle the economy, compared with 16% for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.”
“Now, 57% of voters think Trump will do the best job with the economy. No other candidate comes within 45 points.”
There are plenty ideas as to why Donald Trump is leading in the polls. Some cite the lackluster set of Republican candidates, with a group of party insiders like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, who are popular with donors, but not necessarily the American public.
Others see Trump as a breath of fresh air politically, a candidate not beholden to corporate interests (as he doesn’t need any more money than he already has) and willing to speak his mind, even if it’s not the politically correct or prudent thing to do. That was certainly the case with his views on banning all non-U.S. Muslims from entering the country, a move panned by his opponents and by political pundits but that was actually embraced by Republican voters.
Donald Trump’s “campaign misstatements” have been named the “2015 Lie of the Year” https://t.co/HQqByWbAG6
— TIME.com (@TIME) December 26, 2015
— Slate (@Slate) December 25, 2015
Some believe the media has something to do with Donald Trump’s rise in the polls. This has been a point brought up by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who noted that Trump has gotten 80 minutes on one network newscast to his 20 seconds during that same time frame.
“Trump is very smart, he knows the media’s not so interested in the serious issues facing this country,” Sanders said on CNN (via Mediaite). “They love bombastic remarks. They love silly remarks… This is more of an indictment of the media, actually, than it is of Trump.”
Whatever the reason, Donald Trump continues to rise in the polls and is pulling away from the pack more and more as the first primaries approach. If the trend continues, the man once considered something of a joke could just be a few months away from securing the Republican nomination.
[Picture by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]