- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has a 21-point lead over Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in a new national poll on the 2016 GOP field that showed both candidates pick up support from last month.

Mr. Trump was at 39 percent in the Fox News poll conducted Dec. 16-17, with Mr. Cruz next at 18 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 11 percent and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 9 percent.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were in a four-way tie at 3 percent each.

In a Fox poll taken last month, Mr. Trump had been in the lead at 28 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 18 percent and Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio at 14 percent apiece.

In the newly released survey, Mr. Trump also led in a four-way contest with Mr. Cruz, Mr. Rubio, and Mr. Carson at 41 percent. Mr. Cruz was at 25 percent, Mr. Rubio was at 17 percent, and Mr. Carson was at 12 percent.

Forty-seven percent said Mr. Trump would have the best chance of beating Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, followed by Mr. Cruz at 18 percent, Mr. Rubio at 17 percent and Mr. Carson at 9 percent.

GOP voters also said Mr. Trump is most qualified to handle the economy and be commander-in-chief and that he would be most effective against the Islamic State terrorist group.

Among registered voters overall, though, Mr. Trump actually fared the worst against Mrs. Clinton, trailing her by 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent.

Mr. Rubio fared the best, leading her by 2 points, 45 percent to 43 percent. Mr. Cruz and Mrs. Clinton were tied at 45 percent apiece, and Mrs. Clinton led Mr. Carson by 2 points, 46 percent to 44 percent.

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