A new CNN/ORC national poll (full pdf below) is being highlighted in the media discussion based on the top-line results: Donald Trump 49% !
However, that’s not the real headline in the data. The real lead story should be the damage Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have done to themselves as they continue a scorched-earth campaign.
The first signals of a backlash appeared over the weekend’s polling when it became clear Senator Rubio and Senator Cruz where losing support at an exponential rate the longer they continued to make unfounded accusations. Donald Trump and Ben Carson are benefactors of the Rubio/Cruz kamikaze mission:
There’s an increased possibility Cruz may lose Texas if enough Trump supporters can turn out in any similar proportion to previous state turnouts. Ted Cruz entire campaign apparatus has fallen back upon Texas, and his latest rally (today) drew only a few hundred supporters.
It is increasingly improbable to project Ted Cruz as the likely winner of Texas when all other Super-Tuesday polling, and national polling, shows an entirely divergent reality.
Via CNN – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are poised to lead the nation’s two major parties in this fall’s presidential election, with a new nationwide CNN/ORC poll finding each well ahead of their closest competitors just as the race expands to a national stage.
Trump has expanded his lead over the diminished field to capture the support of nearly half of Republican voters, while Clinton tops Sanders by nearly 20 points.
On the Republican side, the new survey finds Trump’s lead is dominant, and his support tops that of his four remaining opponents combined. The businessman tops his nearest competitor by more than 30 points: 49% back Trump, 16% Marco Rubio, 15% Ted Cruz, 10% Ben Carson and 6% John Kasich.
Trump’s supporters are incredibly enthusiastic about the coming election, and largely committed in their support for him. Nearly 8 in 10 say that they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than in previous elections, among Republicans who are not supporting Trump, just 39% say they are more enthusiastic than in years past.
Likewise, 78% of Trump’s backers say they will definitely support him vs. 22% who say they could still change their minds. Among those backing other candidates, 57% say they are committed to their chosen candidate.
The survey asked those Republicans not currently backing Trump whether they would support him if he became the party’s nominee, and just a quarter of Republicans overall say they probably or definitely wouldn’t support him in November. That’s about the same as the share saying they wouldn’t back Rubio or Cruz. (read more)
FULL POLL DATA: