Real estate magnate Donald Trump soared to the top of a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released Tuesday with 27 percent support.
Trump’s numbers ticked up slightly from October, when the same poll of national voters found the real estate mogul on top at 23 percent.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was Trump’s closest competitor at 17 percent in the latest poll, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-TX) at 16 percent. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson sank to 10 percent. All other Republican candidates polled in single digits.
Seventeen percent of Republican voters remained undecided in their first choice, according to the poll. Cruz was the top second-choice candidate at 22 percent, followed by Rubio at 15 percent.
Trump supporters are also proving to be a loyal bunch. Sixty-eight percent of supporters said they would still vote for Trump if the former reality television star left the GOP and ran as an independent. Trump immediately celebrated this development:
Despite Trump’s growing lead, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton beat all major Republican contenders in head-to-head match-ups. Carson remained the most competitive with a 1-point difference between the two candidates. Clinton beat Trump in a head-to-head match-up by 4 points.
The poll was conducted by live phone interviews among 1,000 voters very or somewhat likely to vote from Dec. 2-6. The margin of error for Republican voters was 5.2 percentage points.