Real-estate magnate Donald Trump continues comfortably to lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released Friday, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has beaten out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for second-place.
The poll showed support for Trump at 31 percent, a slight improvement on his standing at 28 percent in Quinnipiac’s December poll. Cruz stands at 22 percent support, down from 24 percent in December, while Rubio took third place at 19 percent, a substantial increase from his 12 percent standing in December.
The silver lining for the two senators dueling for second place is that the rest of the field seems to offer little challenge: fourth-place candidate Dr. Ben Carson scored only 6 percent and no other candidate broke above 3 percent. This is consistent with most other national polling, which has tended to show Trump with a strong lead while all candidates but Cruz and Rubio have been excluded from contention for second. The TPM PollTracker average shows Trump leading at 33.8 percent, and Cruz leading Rubio 18.3 to 16.2 percent.
The Quinnipiac University poll was carried out by live telephone interviews. The sample population was 507 likely Republican voters, with a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.