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Trump hits new high in GOP race

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event January 23, 2016 in Pella, Iowa.

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has hit a new high in the race for the Republican nomination, with 41 percent of GOP voters supporting the billionaire businessman from New York, according to a new national poll.

Trump’s support among Republicans is now more than double that of his closest rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who garnered 19 percent in the CNN/ORC Poll released on Tuesday.

This is the first time Trump has risen above the 40-percent mark in CNN/ORC polling.

In addition, more than two-thirds of Republicans said they believe he is most likely to win the party’s presidential nomination.

No other candidate received more than 10 percent support. Florida Senator Marco Rubio landed at 8 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 6 percent, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 5 and 4 percent respectively.

The survey has put Trump ahead of the rivals among a range of Republican subgroups, including among men and women, younger and older voters, white evangelicals, conservatives and GOP-leaning independents.

Trump’s widest advantage is on handling the economy with 60 percent of Republican voters saying he would best handle it, a 48-point lead over Cruz.

A separate poll shows that Trump has gained ground in Iowa, the state that kicks off the first nomination contest, besting Senator Cruz, 34 to 23 percent.

The candidate has maintained his big advantage in New Hampshire, the latest Fox News survey has found.

Trump’s campaign has been defined by controversy from the beginning, making disparaging remarks against Muslims, women and illegal immigrants.


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