Trump emerges clear leader in Republican race

Washington (IANS): Showing that his surge was no flash in the pan, a new poll saw Donald Trump emerge as the clear leader for the Republican nomination after winning his party’s trust on top issues.

The CNN/ORC poll released on Tuesday finds the real estate mogul with the support of 24 percent of Republican registered voters in the crowded field of 17.

His nearest rival Jeb Bush, son of a former president and brother of another and the establishment favourite, stands 11 points behind at 13 percent.

Just behind Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has 9 percent, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker 8 percent and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul 6 percent.

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina has moved up to the top 10 with 5 percent, while Louisiana’s Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal continues to languish among the bottom seven.

Trump is the biggest gainer in the poll, up 6 points since the top Republican candidates debated in Cleveland, Ohio on August 6.

Carson gained 5 points and Fiorina 4 points.

Trump has also boosted his favourability numbers among Republicans, 58 percent have a favourable view of Trump now. That figure stood at 50 percent in the July survey.

These nationwide findings follow recent polling in Iowa and New Hampshire showing Trump also leads the Republican field in those two key states, which hold the first primaries for nomination.

The poll suggests those behind Trump love him. He holds a 98 percent favourability rating among his supporters.

But those Republican voters who aren’t supporting Trump are sceptical that he would help the party.

Most Republicans (58 percent) say the party would have a better chance to win in 2016 with someone else at the top of the ticket, including 72 percent of those who don’t currently back the businessman.

The poll finds evidence of a slight gender gap in support for Trump, who has faced public questions recently about his treatment of women, though he does lead the field among both men and women.

Trump stands at 27 percent among Republican men and at 20 percent among Republican women, a gap just outside the margin of error for each group.