Donald Trump is holding on to first place amongst the crop of contenders vying for the Republican presidential nomination. In their first poll for the 2016 presidential election, Pew Research Center released survey results on Friday, Oct. 2, which show Trump still firmly leading the pack.
According to CNN, Pew conducted their poll via telephone from Sept. 22-27, asking 496 potential Republican voters who they would support as the party’s nominee. They did not provide respondents with a list of contenders, requiring them to name their favored candidate based on what they know about the field. As a result, Pew’s poll uniquely reflects the name recognition among the presidential candidates.
CNN reports that the poll’s margin of error stands at plus or minus five percent.
MSNBC reports that Trump tops the list of presidential contenders with 25 percent of respondents naming him as the candidate they would support. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is at a distant second with 16 percent. Sharing third place are Carly Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, each holding eight percent. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is currently in fourth place with six percent.
Lagging behind in sixth place is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at four percent. The son and sibling of two former U.S. presidents, Bush has name recognition to spare, making his weak showing all the more troubling for his campaign. The presumptive favorite for the Republican nomination back in spring of 2015, Bush now sits behind seven other presidential candidates.
MSNBC reports that neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney, the last two Republican nominees, ever dipped as low as four percent at the polls.
According to The Hill, 66 percent of respondents told the Pew Research Center that they would prefer a government outsider as their nominee, favoring fresh ideas over governing experience.
Trump has sworn to drop out of the presidential race if his strong showing at the polls were to reverse, CNN reports.
“Well, I’m not a masochist,” Trump told MSNBC on Thursday, Oct. 1. “Right now I’m leading every poll, and in most cases big. That’s good. If that changed, if I was like some of these people at one percent or two percent, there’s no reason to continue forward. If I fell behind badly, I would certainly get out.”