Despite All The Debate Backlash, Donald Trump Still Holds A Strong Lead

Donald Trump has been turning quite a few heads during his race toward the 2016 Presidential Election. While many pundits and citizens alike think of Donald Trump as more of a joke than a serious candidate, many Republicans and right-leaning voters are still strongly supporting the businessman in the polls.

After the first Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump received a lot of heat for his lack of tact and tendency to dominate the floor with promises to keep illegal immigrants out of America. But despite all the criticism, Donald Trump is polling as high as ever. In fact, his numbers didn’t change at all after the debate aired. According to Reuters, Donald Trump has the support of 24 percent of all Republicans, which stayed stable after Thursday’s debate.

This is a remarkably strong lead. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz lag behind Trump with percentages in the teens, meanwhile no other Republican candidate can muster support of over 8 percent of Republicans in online polls.

These numbers may come as a surprise to those who have been paying attention to the controversy Donald Trump has stirred up over comments about Mexicans that some perceived as racist, as well as his attack on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during the debate. Trump refuses to apologize for many of his statements, according to CNN, and emphasized at the debate that he proudly says whatever is on his mind.

Even so, something about Donald Trump is still resonating with conservative voters.

“They want someone who’s an outsider, who can upset the applecart,” said Craig Robinson, a former director of the Iowa Republican Party. “They’re willing to deal with a less-than-perfect candidate if they believe it will actually change things in Washington.”

According to NBC, Donald Trump also claimed during the debate that he may run as an independent during the 2016 election, another bold decision that had virtually no effect on his poll numbers. More than half of his loyal supporters claim they would abandon the GOP nominee to vote for Donald Trump as an independent, and only one in five claim they would give up their support for Trump and vote for whoever won the Republican nomination.

Do you think Donald Trump has a chance of earning the Republican nomination? Would you vote for him in 2016?

For an example of someone who does not support Trump and his controversial statements, read about why actress Salma Hayek does not even dare speak the candidate’s name.

[Image credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images]