Poll: Trump's lead grows in North Carolina

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE has increased his lead in the North Carolina Republican primary, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday.

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Trump has 38 percent support, up five points from last month. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (R-Texas) places second with 16 percent support, followed by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOn The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week Trump declares national emergency at border Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans MORE (Fla.) with 11 percent support, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 8 percent.

Trump has the highest favorability rating in the field, with 62 percent of likely Republican primary voters seeing him positively, compared to just 30 percent who have a negative opinion of the Republican front-runner.

He also maintained his lead in the state when the field was cut to four, three and two candidates. Cruz presented the closest challenge head to head, with Trump edging the Texas senator by eight points, 49 to 41.

The poll also found Trump with a broad coalition of support among conservatives of all stripes.

While Trump barely beats out Cruz for the “very conservative” vote, 30 to 27, he handily wins those who identify as “somewhat conservative,” with 42 percent support, and “moderate,” with 43 percent support.

When matched up against Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton, Trump leads by a 45 to 43 margin. Other Republican candidates fare better against the presumptive Democratic nominee, with Rubio scoring the most decisive victory, winning by a 47 to 42 margin.

Voters will cast ballots in North Carolina as a part of the so-called SEC primary of southern states on March 1.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 433 likely Republican primary voters and 948 registered voters from Jan. 18–19. The Republican primary results have a 4.7 percent margin of error, while the general sample has a 3.2 percent margin of error.