- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2015

Businessman Donald Trump has opened up a 20-point lead over his nearest competitor, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in a new poll on the 2016 GOP presidential field.

Mr. Trump was at 36 percent in the CNN/ORC poll released Friday, with Mr. Cruz at 16 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 14 percent, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 12 percent. No other candidate was above 4 percent support.

Mr. Trump picked up 9 points of support since a CNN/ORC poll conducted in mid-October, Mr. Cruz gained 12 points, and Mr. Rubio picked up 4 points.

Mr. Carson, meanwhile, dropped 9 points since that time. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was down 5 points, to 3 percent, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky’s support fell by 4 points, to 1 percent.

Mr. Trump was also named the candidate who could best handle the economy, illegal immigration, foreign policy, the Islamic State terrorist group and the federal budget.

Republicans and GOP-leaning independents also said they think Mr. Trump has the best chance of winning the general election next November, would be most effective at solving the country’s problems and can best handle the responsibilities of being commander-in-chief.

The survey was conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 — before the shooting rampage in San Bernardino on Wednesday that left 14 people dead.

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