New polling data show Donald Trump maintaining his lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. However, the business mogul has been losing ground, his considerable lead in August shrinking after the second presidential debate held in September.
An Economist/YouGov poll reveals Trump’s support has slipped by eight percentage points since Sept. 15, dropping from 33 percent to 25 percent. The data also show Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida making huge gains, bumping up to second place at 16 percent, edging out retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson by one point.
USA Today/Suffolk University poll results released on Sept. 30 have Trump leading the pack with 23 percent, with Carson and Carly Fiorina tied in second place with 13 percent each. That these rankings conflict with Economist/YouGov’s findings shows a Republican presidential field that is highly competitive in the second-to-fourth slots.
The Wall Street Journal released its own poll results on Oct. 2, also projecting Trump as the lead but only at 21 percent. Those data show Carson in a very close second place with 20 percent, while Rubio and Fiorina share third place with each having carved out 11 percent of voter support.
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While these polls show variations in order, they clearly show Trump, Carson, Rubio and Fiorina as the current heavyweights for the Republican nomination. According to YouGov, Rubio is the only candidate among the four frontrunners who has held elected office.
"Unfortunately, I'm leaning toward Trump, only because he's a non-political figure," survey participant Ginger Mangam told USA Today. She added that she is not bothered by Trump’s lack of political experience. “I don't think it's a problem; I think it's a message."
According to USA Today, the survey results show that Republican voters are hungry for someone who is not a political insider. Another participant, Jordan Penegor, said she supports Carson because “he’s not a politician, so he doesn’t look at the political views. He just looks at helping the American people as a whole.”
While Trump remains the frontrunner in all three polls, the data suggest trouble for the candidate. Economist/YouGov’s poll shows that over the course of September, Republican voters’ favorability ratings for Trump dropped by 12 points, while his unfavorability increased by 13 points, putting him at sixth in the field’s favorability ranking. Meanwhile, the data show Carson leading the field in terms of favorability.
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The Wall Street Journal’s survey also shows Trump way behind other candidates' potential voter growth. While he still leads the race, only 26 percent of respondents say they would consider voting for him. In comparison, Rubio leads that contest with 52 percent of voters saying they would be open to voting for him.