Bombastic real-estate mogul Donald Trump has extended his lead in the 2016 Republican nomination race, beating establishment candidates and anti-Washington renegades alike as he topped a new poll released Tuesday.
Trump, who has taken America’s political world by storm ever since announcing his White House campaign in June, leads with 24 percent support, well ahead of second-place Jeb Bush with 13 percent, according to a new national CNN/ORC poll.
Despite a broad field of 17 Republican candidates, Trump’s backing is five points higher than in the same poll three weeks ago, prior to the party’s much-watched first major debate earlier this month.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is third, with nine percent, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida are tied at fourth with eight percent, and Kentucky’s Senator Rand Paul is in sixth place with six percent.
The poll is the latest of several surveys showing the world’s most famous landlord is ruling the roost in his party’s presidential race. It also shows respondents trusting him over all other Republican candidates when it comes to handling the economy, immigration, social issues like abortion, and battling Islamic State extremists.
But the survey also points to a potential Achilles heel: when asked whether Republican chances for winning the White House would be better with or without The Donald as the nominee, 38 percent said better with him, but 58 percent said better without.
He was underwater in favorability as well — whether a voter’s overall feeling toward a candidate is positive or negative.
Trump polled 36 percent favorable to 59 percent unfavorable, figures which were very similar to those of Bush, the former Florida governor and the son and brother of two presidents.
Among the major candidates, former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina — in eighth spot with five percent support — received one of the best favorability rankings, at 27-19.
But in a sign that it is still very early in the presidential race, with more than five months before the first votes in the primary process are cast and nearly 15 months before election day, a whopping 43 percent of respondents said they had never heard of Fiorina.