Poll: Trump expands lead over GOP field
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE is expanding his lead over the GOP’s field of 2016 presidential candidates, according to a poll released Friday that says a majority of Republican voters think him most capable of taking the White House next year.


About 36 percent of Republican-leaning voters support Trump’s Oval Office bid, according to the CNN/ORC survey, up 9 percentage points from October and 20 points above his nearest competition.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), meanwhile, has climbed to second place in the national poll, supplanting retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, with 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Cruz has gained 12 points in the last two months according to the survey, while Carson has dropped 8.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) takes fourth in Friday’s survey, earning 12 percent among Republican-leaning voters. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rounds out Republicans' top five presidential picks, grabbing 4 percent voter support.

Majorities or pluralities believe Trump most capable of handling several issues facing the nation, including the economy (55 percent, with Cruz the next closest, at 9 percent), the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (46 percent) and immigration (48 percent).

Approximately 52 percent view the outspoken billionaire as the Republican most capable of winning the 2016 general election.

Roughly 42 percent say Trump would be the most effective at solving the nation’s problems, while 37 percent say he can best handle the responsibilities of the presidency.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul all saw their numbers fall from October, with Bush dropping from 8 percent to 3 percent.

CNN/ORN conducted its latest sampling of 445 registered Republican-leaning voters from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 via cell and landline telephone. The survey has a 4.5 percent margin of error.