A Monmouth University poll, released Wednesday, shows former reality-television host Donald Trump far ahead of the rest of the Republican presidential field in South Carolina, with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) vying for second place.
The poll showed support for Trump at 35 percent, a 16-percentage-point advantage over Cruz, who held second place with 19 percent. Cruz was closely trailed by Rubio, whose support stood at 17 percent. This represents a substantial shift in the state since the previous Monmouth poll in November, when former neurosurgeon Ben Carson was beating Trump 28 percent to 27 percent. (Carson came in last in today’s poll, at 7 percent)
Trump’s big lead is consistent with most recent South Carolina polling, and for that matter most nationwide polling, both of which have shown Trump with a comfortable lead while Cruz and Rubio compete for second place, usually falling within only a few percentage points of one another. The TPM PollTracker Average in South Carolina shows Trump leading at 42.1, followed by Cruz at 19.5 and Rubio at 15.2.
The Monmouth poll surveyed 400 likely South Carolina Republican voters from Feb. 14-16 using live telephone interviews, with a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.