Billionaire Donald Trump has a wide lead over other candidates in the race for the Republican presidential nomination with nearly double the support of second-place contender Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), according to a CBS/New York Times national poll released Thursday.
The poll showed support for Trump at 35 percent of respondents, while Cruz stood at 18 percent. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), in third place, had 12 percent and was closely trailed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) at 11 percent. No other candidate garnered double-digit support.
The survey suggests that the state of the race is little changed since the previous CBS/NYT national poll was conducted in January. That poll showed support for Trump at 36 percent, followed by Cruz at 19 percent and Rubio at 12 percent. Kasich is the only exception, having seen his support surge 9 percentage points since January.
This is consistent with most national polling, which has shown Trump with a strong lead. While Cruz and Rubio have vied for the second-place slot, most recent polls show Cruz establishing a small but consistent lead.
Kasich’s rise, boosted by a decent showing in New Hampshire and the withdrawal of several competing candidates, stands on shakier ground. His comparatively strong standing in the CBS/NYT poll is not reflected in polls of South Carolina or other southern states where much of the next stage of the primary race will unfold.
TPM’s PollTracker Average shows Trump at 35.8 percent, Cruz at 19.3 percent, Rubio at 15 percent and Kasich at 7.5 percent.
The CBS/NYT poll was carried out by live telephone interviews from Feb. 12-16. Pollsters surveyed 581 likely Republican voters with a margin of error of 5 percentage points.