A poll released on Tuesday was the second national survey in recent days to show real estate mogul and former reality TV star Donald Trump at the top of the crowded GOP field for the 2016 nomination.
The Suffolk University/USA Today poll found 17 percent of Republicans or independents who plan to vote in the states’ primaries or caucuses would choose Trump as their first choice for the Republican presidential nomination.
While Trump led among Republicans, the poll showed him being pummeled in a general election matchup against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who led him by 17 points – 51 percent to 34 percent.
“[Trump’s rhetoric] has vaulted him to the top of the pack on the backs of conservative voters. But when you expand the electoral pool to include Democrats and independents that potency dissipates,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, in a press release.
The only other primary contender to come close to Trump was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He polled at 14 percent.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker polled at 8 percent, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 6 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 5 percent. A dozen candidates polled at 3 percent or less.
Last week, an Economist/YouGov poll showed Trump at the head of the pack with 15 percent of registered Republican voters picking him as their first choice for the nomination. Bush and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) polled at 11 percent. Only 7 percent of voters in the poll believed Trump would be the eventual nominee.
The Suffolk University/USA Today poll was conducted among 1,000 people with live telephone interviewers from July 9 through July 12. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.