Twenty-four percent of Republican primary voters surveyed said they favor the real estate magnate and reality TV star in 2016. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (13 percent) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (10 percent) are running second and third.
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Mike Huckabee (8 percent) is in fourth, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (6 percent) are in a three-way tie for fifth place.
Trump appears to have tapped into the public’s dissatisfaction with Washington. Trump holds a large lead among GOP voters who say they are angry, and 79 percent said they think Trump, more than any other hopeful, says what he believes, rather than pandering to voters.
Trump and Bush are seen as the most electable in the general election, with 26 percent saying Trump has the best chance of winning and 23 percent picking Bush.
There is, however, a sizable contingent of Republican voters who do not support Trump. Twenty-seven percent said they would be be most dissatisfied with Trump as the party’s nominee — more than any other candidate.
“His unfavorable numbers are quite high, and so it raises the question: Are these people really supporting Donald Trump, or are they supporting what Donald Trump sort of stands for — fighting the Democrats and sticking up for America and the sort of personality that Donald Trump has?” Steve Chaggaris, senior political editor at CBS News, told WCBS 880. “And if they’re not really backing Trump, then the question you have to wonder is do these people then gravitate to other candidates who may have some of the same personality that he does.”
The first Republican debate will be held Thursday.