Billionaire real-estate magnate Donald Trump has a lead of 33 percentage points in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a CNN/ORC national poll released Monday.
The poll showed support for Trump surging to an unprecedented 49 percent, far outstripping second-place contender Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at 16 percent and third-place contender Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 15 percent.
This indicates a considerable boost for Trump since the previous CNN/ORC poll in late January, which showed Trump polling at 41 percent, followed by Cruz at 19 percent and Rubio at 8 percent.
Trump’s overwhelming showing in this poll suggests that he is beginning to break through the so-called ‘ceiling’—that is to say, his persistent difficulty in garnering levels of national support exceeding roughly 40 percentage points, despite holding a lead in the polls for many months.
The polling period included Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, in which Trump came under heavy attack from Cruz and Rubio. On the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries, the poll showed Trump consolidating a leading position while Cruz and Rubio, who are locked in a seemingly endless duel for second place, lost substantial ground.
TPM’s PollTracker Average shows Trump at 42.6 percent, Rubio at 18.2 percent and Cruz at 17.9 percent.
The CNN poll was carried out from Feb. 24-27. Pollsters surveyed 427 likely Republican voters with a margin of error of 5 percentage points.