Republican businessman Donald Trump leads among likely GOP presidential primary voters, according to a national poll from Suffolk University/USA TODAY.
Among voters who identify either as Republicans or independents and who plan to vote in their states’ Republican primaries or caucuses, 17 percent named Trump as their first choice for the GOP nomination in the 2016 presidential race.
Trump was followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (14 percent), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (8 percent), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (6 percent), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (5 percent), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (4 percent), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (4 percent), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (4 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (3 percent). Receiving less than 2 percent each were former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former New York Gov. George Pataki.
A significant 30 percent of the Republican electorate remains undecided about whom they will support among a crowded field of candidates.
“Trump is making daily headlines in advance of the primary season,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University political Research Center in Boston. “This 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.”
Among self-identified conservative or very conservative Republican likely voters, Trump led Bush 17 percent to 11 percent, with all other candidates in single digits. However, among voters of all parties, Trump’s negatives were the highest, at 61 percent.
Democrat Hillary Clinton led Trump by 17 points in a one-to-one matchup, 51 percent to 34 percent.
Clinton was not as strong in matchups against other Republicans. Bush was her closest rival in a matchup that included all voters polled, trailing the former New York senator by a 4 percent margin, 46 percent to 42 percent, with 13 percent undecided. Clinton led all GOP contenders but polled below 50 percent against the top six, with the exception of Trump.
The Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey was conducted via landline and cell phone. The field of 1,000 adults was conducted Thursday, July 9, through Sunday, July 12. The margin of error overall is +/-3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. For the Republican subset of 349 likely Republican primary/caucus voters, the margin of error is +/- 5.25 percent; for the subset of 595 likely Republican primary/caucus voters including first and second choices combined, the margin of error is +/- 4.02 percent. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, firstname.lastname@example.org.