New polling has indicated that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has widened his lead over primary rival, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, among national GOP voters.
On April 15, a new Fox News poll projected Trump to have 45 percent support among Republican voters while Cruz trails 18-points with 27 percent. Meanwhile, Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is in third with 25 percent.
The widening gulf between Trump and Cruz’s support is in stark contrast to the same polling group’s March projections, which showed the two only separated by three points. The business mogul had 41 percent support while Cruz was gaining with 38 percent.
The survey data found that Trump’s overall edge against Cruz is drawn from his strong support from Republican voters without a college degree and voters who identify as very conservative.
The business mogul’s solid support among Republican voters is a boon for a candidate who has been embattled by the primary process. While Trump has won more contests than Cruz, his campaign is being repeatedly shown up when it comes to acquiring delegates.
The Cruz campaign has shown greater savvy in the complicated rules in winning over delegates. The Texas senator has pocketed more delegates than Trump in states that the business mogul won, such as Florida, Georgia, Kansas, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to Politico.
Primaries do not operate the same way as a general election; winning a state is only the first phase of acquiring the most delegates. As Cruz continues to chip away at Trump’s delegate count, the business mogul is running the risk of not having the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination.
Trump has responded by accusing the Republican National Committee (RNC) of rigging the system.
“You’re basically buying these people,” Trump said of delegates during a campaign stop in Staten Island, New York, according to The New York Times. The mogul added, “It’s a rigged system. It’s a crooked system. It’s 100 percent crooked.”
Although Kasich may continue to place third in the race and lag tremendously behind in delegate count, the polling found that he is the only GOP candidate who would win the general election.
The survey found that while both Trump and Cruz would lose to either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kasich would fare much better in November. The governor beats Clinton by nine points, while he would only lag behind Sanders by four points.
Despite these projections, 42 percent of self-identifying GOP respondents said that Trump was the most electable candidate, while only 20 percent cited Kasich.
“When it comes to electability, the disconnect between what Republicans think and what the polling data shows is astounding,” said Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who helped conduct the Fox News survey.