Businessman Donald Trump is leading his next-closest Republican presidential competitor by 16 points in a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday that saw his support jump 8 points from one released in late July.
Mr. Trump was the first choice of 28 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning voters in the national poll, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 12 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 7 percent apiece.
“Donald Trump soars; Ben Carson rises; Jeb Bush slips and some GOP hopefuls seem to disappear. Trump proves you don’t have to be loved by everyone, just by enough Republicans to lead the GOP pack,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at 6 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina were at 5 percent each, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at 4 percent, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rounded out the top 10 at 3 percent.
Mr. Trump also topped the “no way” list of Republican voters, with 26 percent saying they would definitely not support him. He was followed by Mr. Bush at 18 percent in that category.
In the survey released July 30, Mr. Trump was at 20 percent, followed by Mr. Walker at 13 percent, Mr. Bush at 10 percent, and Mr. Carson, Mr. Huckabee, Mr. Rubio, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 6 percent apiece.
Among registered voters in the survey released Thursday, Mr. Trump had a negative 36 percent/54 percent favorable/unfavorable split. But by about a 2-to-1, 59 percent to 30 percent margin, Republicans said they have a favorable view of him.
When voters were asked to name the first word that comes to mind when they think of Mr. Trump, the top 10 answers were “arrogant,” “blowhard,” “idiot,” “businessman,” “clown,” “honest,” “ego,” “money,” “outspoken” and “crazy.”
But 64 percent — including 71 percent of independents — said he has strong leadership qualities, compared to 34 percent who said he does not.
And a plurality — 48 percent to 45 percent — said they think someone with experience as a Washington outsider would better help them serve effectively as president, as opposed to someone who has experience in Washington. Seventy-three percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents chose “outsider.”
But 64 percent also said Mr. Trump does not have the right kind of temperament and personality to handle an international crisis as president, compared to 31 percent who said he does. And 60 percent said he does not care about the needs and problems of people like you, compared to 37 percent who said he does.
Mr. Trump has pledged to be “so good to women.” But 61 percent said he does not care about the needs and problems of women, compared to 31 percent who said he does.
The survey of 1,563 registered voters was taken Aug. 20-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The survey includes 666 Republican or GOP-leaning voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for that subgroup.