Donald Trump is dominating the Republican presidential field, according to the latest CNN/ORC Poll. He has the support of 36% of registered Republicans and Republican-leading independents, with his nearest competitor trailing by 20 points:
Three candidates cluster behind Trump in the mid-teens, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 16%, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 14% and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 12%. All other candidates have the support of less than 5% of GOP voters in the race for the Republican Party’s nomination for president.
Carson (down 8 points since October), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (down 5 points to 3%) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (down 4 points to 1%) have lost the most ground since the last CNN/ORC poll, conducted in mid-October.
Cruz (up 12 points) and Trump (up 9 points) are the greatest beneficiaries of those declines. Rubio is also up slightly, gaining 4 points — an increase within the poll’s margin of sampling error — since the last CNN/ORC poll.
Interestingly, level of education creates a sharp divide in the poll. Republican voters with college degrees most strongly support Cruz at 22%, with Carson and Rubio following closely behind at 19% each and Trump at 18%. Among Republicans without college degrees, on the other hand, Trump is the clear winner at 46% support.
Trump also dominates the field on several issues most important to voters:
The poll reflects Trump’s dominance over the rest of the field on the issues voters deem most important to them. He holds massive margins over other Republicans as the candidate most trusted to handle the economy (at 55%, Trump stands 46 percentage points over his nearest competitor), the federal budget (51%, up 41 points), illegal immigration (48%, up 34 points), ISIS (46%, up 31 points) and foreign policy (30%, up 13 points).
Looking at those Republicans who consider each issue to be “extremely important” to their vote, Trump’s standing on each issue is even stronger. Among those Republican voters who call the economy extremely important, for example, 60% say they trust Trump to handle that issue. Among immigration voters, 55% trust Trump on the issue. On foreign policy, Trump inches up to 32%, and among those who call terrorism an extremely important issue, 49% say they trust Trump most on ISIS.
More generally, about 4 in 10 Republicans say Trump is the candidate who would be most effective at solving the country’s problems (42% name Trump, 14% Carson, 12% Cruz, 10% Rubio) and could best handle the responsibilities of being commander-in-chief (37% Trump, 16% Cruz, 11% Carson and 10% Rubio).
And a majority of Republican voters say they see Trump as the candidate with the best chances to win the general election next November (52% say Trump has the best chances there, compared with 15% for Rubio, 11% for Cruz and 10% for Carson).
Is Trump your choice for the Republican nomination? Or would you rather see someone else as the nominee? Take our poll below.