Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump currently ranks number one in the latest poll of GOP presidential contenders, further giving the billionaire businessman more notoriety following his controversial comments on Mexico and illegal immigrants during his campaign announcement on June 16.
In a poll conducted by Suffolk University and USA Today, Trump receives 17 percent of Republican support, leading the crowded Republican field. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush receives 14 percent support, although the margin of error cancels Trump’s lead, virtually putting the two candidates in a statistical tie.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy on July 13, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz all receive decent poll numbers, with Walker receiving eight percent of the vote, Rubio with six percent and Cruz with five percent support. The remaining dozen candidates do not fare as well, hovering between one and four percent.
Trump’s comments, his bombastic style and tone of speaking to the public and his name recognition have likely fueled his rise to the top of the pack, according to the head of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
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“Trump is making daily headlines in advance of the primary season. This has vaulted him to the top of the pack on the backs of conservative voters,” David Paleologos, the head of the Center, said about the poll results.
While Trump currently remains in first place, it will be difficult for his campaign to maintain that success. The poll also showcased that 30 percent of Republican voters had not chosen a candidate to support, leaving many candidates fighting for the large group of undecided voters this early in the campaign season.
Trump’s popularity with a select group of Republicans is beneficial to his campaign; however, his future challengers trounce him in a head-to-head match. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton defeats Trump 51 to 34 percent, according to the same poll.
Trump’s favorability ratings have also taken a major hit since his June 16 presidential announcement. According to a poll from ABC News and the Washington Post, 61 percent of respondents held a negative view of Trump, compared to 33 percent who felt otherwise.