Donald Trump Sees Surge In Poll Numbers, Dominates Other GOP Candidates

Donald Trump is pulling away from the competition, and, according to the latest poll from CNN/ORC, the GOP front-runner has the support of 36 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. A report from CNN also revealed that the poll shows that his closest competitor trails him by 20 points.

Three candidates are grouped behind Trump with a percentage between 12 and 16, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, with 16 percent; Ben Carson with 14 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 12 percent.

The other candidates are supported by less than 5 percent of GOP voters in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

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Carson (down eight points since October), the former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush (down five points to 3 percent) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (who dropped four points to 1 percent) have seen the greatest drops in poll numbers since the last CNN/ORC poll in mid-October.

Cruz (who climbed 12 points) and Trump (who rose nine points) are the biggest beneficiaries of these declines. Rubio also rose slightly, gaining four points since October’s poll.

Although it’s pretty clear that Trump is the leading GOP presidential candidate, some wonder whether his numbers advantage is as big as recent polls indicate, Politico said in a recent report.

“From a technical perspective, I understand that these national polls are not good at predicting what people want them to predict,” said Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster with the firm Echelon Insights. “On the other hand, the result is so clear and so consistent that it’s hard to say it’s not meaningful.”

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As previously reported by the Inquisitr, respondents in the poll of Republican voters were found to be largely less college-educated and they are more deeply divided by the level of education. Among Republican voters who have college degrees, there is close competition among the four main contenders, with Cruz slightly in front with 22 percent, Carson and Rubio tied at 19 percent, and Trump with 18 percent.

Trump runs significantly stronger among less-educated, less-affluent voters, and performs particularly well among voters in the 50-64 age range, Yahoo! News wrote. Among those without college degrees, Trump has an overwhelming advantage: 46 percent support the billionaire tycoon, compared with 12 percent for Cruz, 11 percent for Carson, and only 8 percent for Rubio, the poll revealed.

“Trump’s support is heavily concentrated among non-college educated Republicans and those who only lean Republican and thus are less inclined to show up and vote in primaries and caucuses,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics wrote in an email statement. “The key question is: Will the currently fragmented college-educated half of the GOP coalesce around another candidate (say, Rubio) eventually? If they do, they can stop Trump. If they stay fractured, then they may very well have to deal with the November consequences of a Trump nomination — and that won’t be pretty.”

Trump is dominating the rest of the Republican field after several weeks of being almost tied with Carson. Overall, many Republicans say Trump is the candidate who would be more effective in solving the country’s problems (42 percent Trump, Carson 14 percent, 12 percent, and Cruz Rubio 10 percent) and would likely do the best job at handling the responsibilities that come with being commander in chief (37 percent support Trump, 16 percent for Cruz, 11 percent for Carson, and just 10 percent for Rubio).

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone from November 27 to December 1 among a random national sample of 1,020 adults. Interviews were conducted with 930 registered voters, including 445 Republicans, or Independents who favor the Republican Party.

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[Image via Scott Olson/Getty Images News]