Presidential races

Trump hits 30 percent in new poll

Donald Trump has reached a new high in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

According to a Monmouth University survey released on Thursday, Trump takes 30 percent support nationally, a four-point gain over the same survey from before the first GOP debate.

{mosads}Ben Carson is a distant second place in the poll, taking 18 percent support. The retired neurosurgeon has risen sharply in the polls over the past month. He was at only 5 percent support in the same poll from early August.

The rest of the Republican field isn’t even in the same ballpark.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) take 8 percent support each, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida) at 5 percent, and former businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee at 4 percent a piece.

Scott Walker is in freefall, falling into 8th place with only 3 percent support. The Wisconsin governor was in third place with 11 percent support in the same poll from before the first Republican debate.

Chris Christie, John Kasich and Sen. Rand Paul each sit at 2 percent support.

Trump leads in every ideological category. He’s the preferred choice among Tea Party supporters, and Republicans who identify as very conservative, somewhat conservative, and liberal.

The businessman and reality TV star also leads among men, women, young people and old people.

Trump has completely reversed his favorability rating, which in June was only 20 percent positive and 55 percent negative. He’s now at 59 percent positive and 29 percent negative.

For Carson, it’s the latest in a round of strong recent polling numbers. He’s now firmly in second place, according to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, and is gaining on Trump in Iowa, where he’s also in second place.

Carson has the best favorability rating in the field at 67 percent positive and 6 percent negative. That’s an improvement from 45 percent positive and 10 percent negative from before the first debate.

He’s the only Republican who would beat Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up, according to the poll. Carson would thump Trump 55 percent to 36 percent if the two were to square off.

“The fact that the only one who can challenge Trump is the only other candidate who has never held or run for elected office speaks volumes to the low regard GOP voters have for the establishment,” said Monmouth University polling director Patrick Murray.

Trump, Carson, Cruz and Fiorina all made up ground in the poll, putting a point on the anti-establishment undercurrents that have dominated the early stages of the Republican nominating contest.

Sixty-seven percent of Republicans surveyed said the country needs a president from outside of the government to bring fresh perspective to Washington, while only 26 percent said someone with government experience is the best to lead.

Bush and Walker each saw their favorability ratings decline significantly.

“Conservative activists believe the Republican Party has abandoned its principles. Moderates feel their leadership is ineffective,” Murray said. “So Republican voters have created their own job description for the next nominee — Wanted: Someone who can shake up Washington; No elected officials need apply.”

The Monmouth University poll of 366 registered Republicans was conducted between Aug. 31 and Sept. 2 and has a 5.1 percentage-point margin of error.

Tags Ben Carson Donald Trump Jeb Bush Scott Walker

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