Poll: Trump holds 19-point lead over Cruz in South Carolina
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE is holding a commanding lead over the Republican presidential field in South Carolina three days before the Saturday primary, a new poll finds.

The Bloomberg Politics survey released Wednesday shows Trump with 36 percent support, giving the real estate mogul a 19-point lead over his closest rival, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape O'Rourke says he will not 'in any scenario' run for Senate MORE (R-Texas), at 17 percent.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE (R-Fla.) is in third place, with 15 percent support, and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) is behind, at 13 percent.

Rubio scored the highest as second choice for president with 24 percent of GOP primary voters.


The poll comes with Rubio and Bush locked in a tough fight to be the party establishment's standard-bearer. Rubio is looking to bounce back from a disappointing fifth-place finish in New Hampshire.

Rubio is expected to receive a coveted endorsement later Wednesday from South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), which could boost his support ahead of Saturday's vote.

Following Rubio and Bush in the poll is retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, at 9 percent, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, at 7 percent support.

“From the size of the lead and the nearness of voting day, it is easy to say this is Trump’s election to lose,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer in a statement.

“While his linguistic choices turn off a majority of voters, he speaks for the people who want radical change in Washington. South Carolina may just be ready to forgive bad manners in exchange for what they see as a strong leader.”

Carson has the highest favorability among GOP hopefuls at 65 percent, with Rubio close behind at 64 percent. Trump has a 55 percent approval rating, the poll finds.

Cruz follows them at 54 percent, Bush at 51 percent, and Kasich at 41 percent.

The poll, though, finds many South Carolina voters still uncertain of how they will vote. Forty-three percent of Palmetto State primary voters say they are undecided or could be swayed to support another candidate.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released earlier on Wednesday also showed Trump holding a double-digit lead over Cruz in the Palmetto State. But an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also released Wednesday afternoon showed Cruz surprisingly leading Trump nationally.

The Bloomberg poll was conducted by Selzer & Co. Feb. 13-16 and surveyed 502 likely GOP primary voters. The margin of error is 4.4 percentage points.

This story was updated at 5:54 p.m.