Donald Trump continues to rise in the polls, growing closer to the significant 50 percent mark and what could be a lock for the Republican nomination.
Trump’s support has been steadily building in the course of the last few polls as the real estate mogul appears to be holding off charges from Senator Ted Cruz and neurosurgeon Ben Carson. He has even withstood controversies over his remarks on banning Muslims from entering the United States, a sentiment that may actually have won him favor with voters.
The latest polls from Public Policy Polling shows Donald Trump with 34 percent support, more than 15 percentage points ahead of his next closest competitor. Cruz earned 18 percent support while Senator Marco Rubio took in 13 percent.
Carson, who just a few weeks ago was rising in the polls and many believed was poised to surpass Trump, has fallen back to 6 percent support after what was widely considered a lackluster performance in this week’s Republican Debate.
As Public Policy Polling noted, Trump is growing in the polls on all of the most important aspects.
“Trump is the biggest gainer since our last national poll in mid-November, going from 26% to 34%. He’s also become more broadly popular with GOP voters, with his favorability rating going from 51/37 up to 58/34. Trump’s hold on the Republican electorate holds true with most segments of the party. He leads with 36% among voters most concerned with having a nominee who’s conservative on the issues, and with 34% among voters most concerned about being able to beat a Democrat in the fall. He leads among both Evangelicals with 35%, and among non-Evangelicals with 33%. He leads with both women (34%) and men (also 34%). He leads with both younger voters (38%) and seniors (32%).”
The report noted that there are only two demographics where Trump failed to capture the most voters: among groups connected to the Tea Party and self-identified “very conservative” voters. Those two particular groups were snatched up by Cruz instead.
What many thought could be a campaign killer actually turned into a positive point for Donald Trump. His call to ban all non-American Muslims from entering the county was met with ridicule in many circles, but it seems to be working with one of the most important groups: Republican primary voters.
The poll found that 54 percent of voters support the proposed Muslim ban, including 57 percent of voters who aligned with Ted Cruz. Another 46 percent of voters support a national database for Muslims, another point Trump has brought up.
It is a surprise for a candidate, whom many pundits failed to take seriously, even as his numbers shot up during the summer months. Trump’s 2011 flirtation with running for president appeared to be something more of a bid for attention and to force Barack Obama to release his birth certificate. Many believed that this run was also just a chance for the reality television star to spend time in the limelight.
Now, there are some who believe Trump can not only win the Republican nomination, but also has a good chance in the general election. The Hill outlined a scenario where Trump could capitalize off the looming student loan debt crisis, using his expertise on the business world and the use of bankruptcy to come up with a solution that Democrats have been unable to despite promises to address the issue.
“Given that the majority of people who take out student loans are democrats – a very reasonable assumption – this opens a huge door for Trump,’ the report noted. “25 million people struggling with their student loans, 18 million Democrats/Independents. If Trump were to champion the return of bankruptcy protections to all student loans, he would win over at least half of these folks.”
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) December 19, 2015
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2015
While Donald Trump leads in the polls for now, some pundits remain unconvinced that he can maintain it through the rigorous primary season and against candidates with better funding and more well-developed voter outreach efforts. But, if he can keep the lead and remain on top as other candidates fall out, the numbers seem to indicate that his support will grow and the nomination could be well within his reach.
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