- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Businessman Donald Trump has picked up support since the GOP presidential debate earlier this month, surging to a double-digit lead on the Republican field and emerging as the most-trusted candidate on issues ranging from the economy to immigration.

Mr. Trump led the field with 24 percent among registered voters who described themselves as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 13 percent and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 9 percent, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida were both at 8 percent, followed by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 6 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 5 percent each, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 4 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3 percent.

In a survey taken in late July, Mr. Trump had been in the lead at 18 percent, followed by Mr. Bush at 15 percent and Mr. Walker at 10 percent.

Asked which candidate can best handle the economy, 45 percent of registered voters identifying as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents said Mr. Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul, followed by Mr. Bush at 9 percent. Forty-four percent also said Mr. Trump could best handle illegal immigration, again followed by Mr. Bush at 13 percent.

Thirty-two percent said Mr. Trump could best handle the islamic State terrorist group, followed by Mr. Bush at 16 percent.

And 19 percent said Mr. Trump could best handle social issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, followed by Mr. Bush at 15 percent and Mr. Carson at 12 percent.

Nearly six in 10 Republicans did say they think the GOP has a better shot at winning the White House with someone other than Mr. Trump as the party’s nominee.

He was also still underwater in terms of favorability overall; 36 percent of all Americans said they have a favorable view of Mr. Trump, compared to 59 percent who said they have an unfavorable one.

But that’s actually a slight improvement from a poll taken in late July — before the debate — when he had a 33 percent/58 percent split.

Mr. Bush, meanwhile, had a 34 percent/56 percent favorable/unfavorable split — worse than in late July, when he was at 33 percent favorable/43 percent unfavorable.

Ms. Fiorina, who gained 4 points in the poll since July, had a positive 27 percent/19 percent split, with 43 percent of Americans saying they’ve never heard of her. Support for Mr. Carson also ticked up 5 points since last month.

Mr. Walker, meanwhile, had a 23 percent/31 percent split, with 37 percent of Americans saying they’ve never heard of him. And Mr. Kasich had a slightly positive 23 percent/22 percent split, with 44 percent saying they’ve never heard of him.

The survey of 1,001 adults was taken from Aug. 13-16, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent for the smaller subgroups of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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