Former reality-television star Donald Trump remains the clear national frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination with a 13-point lead over Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday.
The poll showed support for Trump at 33 percent. Cruz, with 20 percent support, edged out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at 13 percent and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 12 percent. This represents an increase of 6 percentage points for Trump since the same poll in December, but a 2-point loss for Cruz.
The survey confirms the resilience of Trump’s national lead, which has been substantial in most polls even as some have shown Cruz pulling ahead in Iowa. Moreover, the number of respondents who could see themselves supporting Trump increased from 23 percent in December to 65 percent today, suggesting considerable gains for Trump on the national stage despite the tightening contest in Iowa.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted by live phone interviews from January 9-13 and surveyed 400 likely Republican voters. It had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.