- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Businessman Donald Trump has put some distance between himself and the rest of the 2016 GOP presidential field in a new poll that shows Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida moving into second place and retired doctor Ben Carson slip into a tie for third with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Mr. Trump was at 27 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, followed by Mr. Rubio at 17 percent, Mr. Carson and Mr. Cruz at 16 percent each, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 5 percent. No other candidate was above 3 percent.

In a Quinnipiac poll released last month, Mr. Trump had been at 24 percent, with Mr. Carson right behind him at 23 percent, Mr. Rubio at 14 percent, and Mr. Cruz at 13 percent.

“It doesn’t seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the ‘political correctness’ is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Dr. Ben Carson, moving to center stage just one month ago, now needs some CPR. The doctor sinks. The Donald soars. The GOP, 11 months from the election, has to be thinking, ‘This could be the guy,’ ” Mr. Malloy said.

Twenty-six percent of Republican voters still said they would “definitely not support” Mr. Trump, with 21 percent saying the same of Mr. Bush.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued her dominance, leading Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont by 30 points, 60 percent to 30 percent, with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 2 percent.

Mrs. Clinton still got relatively poor marks on honesty and trustworthiness; 60 percent of voters overall said she is not honest and trustworthy. And she had a negative 44 percent/51 percent favorability rating.

But in head-to-head match-ups, she led Mr. Rubio, Mr. Carson, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump by margins varying between 1 and 6 points. Mr. Sanders actually had bigger leads head-to-head on Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Carson and, like Mrs. Clinton, led Mr. Rubio by 1 point.

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