Trump's lead grows in post-debate poll

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Presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJimmy Carter: Trump 'tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism' Roger Stone looking into creating pro-Trump nonprofit: report Wesley Clark: 'No one knows' what Trump stands for MORE is enjoying his largest lead over the GOP field following Tuesday's presidential debate, a new poll finds.

The post-debate survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP) released Friday shows the real estate mogul with 34 percent support nationally among GOP voters, up 8 points from a mid-November poll.

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Trump's favorability has also grown. He's rated at 51 percent favorable, 37 unfavorable; an improvement over his 51-37 split in November.

“As the year comes to a close Donald Trump is just getting stronger,” Dean Debnam, president of PPP, said in a statement.

“His support for the nomination is growing but so is his overall favorability which suggests his ceiling could be higher than often assumed.”

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzEven in defeat, Trump could harm the country irreparably Sanders steps up his attacks in homestretch 5 takeaways from the rush for campaign cash MORE (R-Texas) sits in second place, with 18 percent support, followed by Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioNorth Korean official calls Trump idea of meeting 'nonsense' Senate candidate taunts Sanders: Why don't you endorse Alan Grayson? Carson: 'I would not want to be on the ticket or in the Cabinet’ MORE (R-Fla.), with 13 percent. But Cruz’s lead grew 4 points since the November poll, while Rubio remains stagnant.

“Ted Cruz is getting stronger while Marco Rubio stays in place,” Debnam said. “There’s a long way to go but it’s become pretty clear over the last few weeks who the main rival to Trump is at least for now.”

The next tier of GOP candidates all poll in the single digits. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gets 7 percent, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, at 6 percent. 

Carson has taken one of the biggest tumbles, dropping from 19 percent in the November poll. Following the terror attacks in Paris and California, Carson has struggled to demonstrate his national security bona fides and is sinking in the polls.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is at 5 percent and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee both have 4 percent support. The rest of the candidates register at 2 percent or less.

On the Democratic side, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSanders aide: We're trying to open party to 'new blood' Poll: Most voters think Trump should release tax returns Poll: Clinton, Trump disliked by majority of Americans MORE saw a slight drop of 3 points since the November poll, but maintains her lead over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders aide: We're trying to open party to 'new blood' Sanders to Larry David: 'I want you to keep your job' Clinton allies blame Bernie for bad polls MORE (I-Vt.), 56 to 28 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley trails, with 9 percent.

The poll was conducted from Dec. 16 to Dec. 17, following the Dec. 15 GOP debate. PPP surveyed 532 GOP primary voters and 525 Democratic primary voters via phone and Internet. The margin of error is 4.3 percent.

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