- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has raced out to a 20-point lead over his nearest 2016 GOP rival in a national poll released Wednesday that showed him pick up 8 points of support since earlier this month.

Mr. Trump was at 39 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 19 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 18 percent.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was at 6 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson were at 4 percent apiece.

“Reports of Donald Trump’s imminent demise as a candidate are clearly and greatly exaggerated. Like a freight train barreling through signals with his horn on full blast, Trump heads down the track towards a possible nomination,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

In a Quinnipiac survey released on Feb. 5, Mr. Trump was at 31 percent, Mr. Cruz was at 22 percent and Mr. Rubio was at 19 percent.

In the new poll, Mr. Trump led the rest of the pack on having strong leadership qualities, while Mr. Rubio led on honesty and trustworthiness, caring about voters’ needs and problems, and sharing voters’ values. Mr. Bush led on having the right kind of experience to be president.

Seventy-seven percent of GOP voters said Mr. Trump has a good chance of winning in November, 61 percent said Mr. Rubio has a good chance and 60 percent said Mr. Cruz has a good chance.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a 2-point, 44 percent to 42 percent, lead over Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, which was unchanged from Feb. 5.

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