Trump triples Cruz in Alabama: poll

Greg Nash

A new poll released Wednesday finds Republican primary front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHow Republicans can move past Trump’s politics of personal ambition Clinton camp calls for FBI to release full details of probe RNC official: FBI news reinforces narrative Clinton isn't trustworthy MORE up 17 points on his nearest competitor in Alabama.

The poll conducted by Master Image, a Birmingham, Ala.-based firm, shows Trump with 36 percent support headed into the state’s March 1 primary, followed by Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioWhy should a good person ever want to run for office again? Senate GOP pounces on FBI's Clinton probe Rubio won’t say if Trump would keep US safe MORE (R-Fla.) with 19 percent support and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump knocks Kasich for breaking pledge Democrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress MORE (R-Texas) with 12 percent support.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson places fourth with 8 percent support, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 7 percent support. 

The poll is consistent with two previous versions, conducted Jan. 25 and Feb. 11, that also showed Trump with 36 percent support.

Rubio’s support has increased by 7 points from January, while Cruz has dropped 5 points over the same span. Cruz has often referred to the SEC primary as his "firewall" in the primary race.

Master Image President Joe Sanders said he is “confident this survey is an accurate sample of Alabama Republicans one week out of the March 1 primary.”

“Trump’s popularity in Alabama continues the trend we see elsewhere,” Sanders added. “Trump’s numbers appear to be a few points lower than other southern states, but in line with what should happen on March 1, considering almost one in five voters remain undecided.”

The poll, first reported by the Daily Caller, surveyed 1,556 Republican primary voters on Feb. 23and has a 4.2 percent margin of error.