Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE is maintaining his lead in the GOP race, according to a poll released by the Pew Research Center on Friday.
The real estate mogul garners 25 percent of the GOP vote, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben CarsonBen CarsonSunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Race is not central to Rittenhouse case — but the media shout it anyway Trump endorses primary challenger to Peter Meijer in Michigan MORE with 16 percent support.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are tied for third place with 8 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) follows with 6 percent, then former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 4 percent.
The poll attributes Trump’s popularity to his stance on immigration.
Among respondents who said they prefer a candidate a plan to deport illegal immigrants in the country, 34 percent support Trump. Carson is second in this group with 16 percent.
Among those who dislike candidates with such a stance, only 13 percent support Trump — second-most in the field, after Carson's 17 percent.
Other measurements in the poll reflect this divide in the Republican Party over the issue of immigration.
Eighty-four percent of those who favor mass deportation say immigration is the most important issue in the 2016 election, while only 44 percent of respondents who do not favor deportation say immigration is their top priority.
The poll also highlights voters’ well-documented preference for an “outsider” candidate.
Sixty-six percent of GOP voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who brings new ideas and different approaches to Washington, compared to 29 percent who say experience and a proven record in government are more important to them.
The poll was conducted in an open-ended format, in which respondents were asked to name their preferred candidate, rather than choose one from a list.
The survey questioned 421 Republicans in telephone calls from Sept. 22-27 and has a margin of error of 5.5 percent.