Trump keeps the lead to the GOP nomination

The tycoon continues his surge on the polls.
Even with his disparaging comments about Mexicans and other Republicans he leads the field. (Photo: Archive/EL UNIVERSAL)
20/07/2015
22:24
Newsroom
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Businessman Donald Trump surged into the lead for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with almost twice the support of his closest rival, according to a poll conducted by ABC and the Washington Post.

And Trump is heading the polls after he continues his attacks against immigrants, and getting flack for them, and ignited a new controversy after making disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War service.

Yet, support for Trump fell sharply on the one night that voters were surveyed following those comments. Telephone interviewing for the poll began Thursday, and most calls were completed before the news about the remarks was widely reported.

Although the sample size for the final day was small, the decline was statistically significant. Still, it is difficult to predict what could happen to Trump’s support in the coming days and weeks as the controversy plays out.

Even with the drop in support on the final night of the survey, Trump was the favorite of 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That is the highest percentage and biggest lead recorded by any GOP candidate this year in Post-ABC News polls and marks a sixfold increase in his support since late May, shortly before he formally joined the race.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy a week ago, is in second place, at 13 percent, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 12 percent. Walker’s support is strongest among those who describe themselves as “very conservative.”

The next seven, ranging in support from 8 percent to 3 percent, are: former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), former Texas governor Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The rankings are more important than early national surveys in previous campaigns because only the top 10 candidates, based on an average of the most recent national polls, will qualify for the first Republican debates. The first debate will be held Aug. 6 in Cleveland. Fox News Channel is the sponsor of that event and established the rules for eligibility.

The bottom six candidates in the Post-ABC News survey are Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who plans to announce his candidacy Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York governor George Pataki, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). Their support ranges from two percent to less than one percent.

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