In the most recent CNN/ORC poll, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump leads the GOP field by 20 points with 36 percent, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) jumped 12 points, moving in to second place.
The poll surveyed registered Republican and Independent voters who ranked the candidates as follows:
- Donald Trump – 36 percent
- Ted Cruz – 16 percent
- Dr. Ben Carson – 14 percent
- Marco Rubio – 12 percent
The rest of the GOP candidates registered under five percent.
According to CNN, Carson dropped eight points since the last poll in October. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dropped five points to three percent, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dropped four points down to one percent. Trump gained nine points, Cruz gained 12 points and Rubio also went up slightly by four points.
CNN reports that among college educated voters, “the race is a close contest between the top four contenders, with Cruz slightly in front at 22%, Carson and Rubio tied at 19% and Trump at 18%. Among those without college degrees, Trump holds a runaway lead: 46% support the businessman, compared with 12% for Cruz, 11% for Carson and just 8% for Rubio.”
According to the poll, 55 percent of voters believe Trump is the most trusted candidate to handle the economy and 51 percent believe he is the best to address the federal budget. On illegal immigration, 48 percent of those surveyed think he is the best candidate on that issue. Forty-six percent of those polled said they think Trump is the best GOP candidate to tackle ISIS and 30 percent believe he is best on foreign policy.
Roughly four in 10 Republicans think Trump is the candidate “who would be most effective at solving the country’s problems…and could best handle the responsibilities of being commander-in-chief.”
Fifty-two percent of voters said they think Trump is the best candidate to win the general election, while 15 percent believe Rubio would be the best candidate, 11 percent said Cruz and 10 percent believe Carson would do the best in the general election.
CNN examined the divide among Republican voters on whether or not the illegal immigrants currently in the United States should be deported:
On immigration, an issue that has been a focal point of Trump’s campaign, most Americans say the government should not attempt to deport all people living in the country illegally (63%), and even more say such a mass deportation wouldn’t be possible (81%). About half say such an effort would be harmful to the economy (47%), while about 3 in 10 say it would help (29%).
Among Republicans, a narrow majority (53%) think the government should try to deport all of the estimated 11 million immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally, but most think it wouldn’t ultimately be possible to achieve (73%). Republicans are more likely than others to see a deportation effort as helpful to the economy (44% think it would help, 30% that it would hurt).
There’s a sharp divide among Republican voters on these questions about deportation between those who back Trump and those who do not. Among Trump supporters, 67% say the government should attempt to deport all people living in the country illegally, while just 39% of Republican voters backing other candidates agree. Still, even among Trump’s supporters, most say it wouldn’t be possible to deport all those living in the U.S. illegally (55%).
The poll was conducted between November 27 and December 1 from a sample of 1,020 voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percent.