Poll: Trump Increases Lead, Bush Fades

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A new Wall Street Journal poll finds Donald Trump increasing his hold on the top spot in the race for the Republican nomination. Trump is supported by 25 percent of GOP primary voters now, up from 21 percent in September. Ben Carson also increased his support, rising from 20 percent to 22 percent in the latest poll.

The bump in Carson’s support, it should be noted, has come in spite of a media firestorm over his comments that he wouldn’t currently support a Muslim candidate for President.

While Trump and Carson have maintained their lock on the number one and two spots for the GOP nomination for more than three months now, the race isn’t static. Over the summer Jeb Bush, who polled in second place in July, has given up more than half his support. He has clawed back some support in this latest poll, perhaps the impact of a multi-million dollar ad buy launched last month, but is still at just 8 percent support. This puts Jeb Bush fifth in the Republican race.

The biggest beneficiary of Bush’s fall has been Sen. Marco Rubio. The Florida Senator gained just a few points in September, after a big move in August, and is at 13 percent support. Although Trump has almost double the support of him, Rubio is currently in third.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz jumped the most in September, almost doubling his support. He is behind Rubio with 9 percent of the vote, just ahead of Bush. Carly Fiorina, who received a big boost in August, dropped a bit in September. Still, she is essentially tied with Bush with 7 percent support.

The rest of the GOP field is far behind, with most having lost ground in September. Only former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had any positive movement in the month, but he is still polling below 5 percent. Support for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is within the poll’s margin of error.

The four candidates running campaigns explicitly against Washington and Republican leadership, Trump, Carson, Cruz and Fiorina, together command 63 percent of the Republican vote.

Barely one-in-five Republicans nationwide support either of the two establishment candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. That, perhaps more than anything else in the poll, shows the wide chasm between Republican voters and the party’s leadership in Washington.


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