- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Businessman Donald Trump has jumped out to an 11-point lead over his closest rival in the latest national poll on the 2016 Republican presidential field.

Mr. Trump was the first choice of 24 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents in the Washington Post-ABC poll out Monday, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 12 percent.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was next at 8 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 7 percent and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 6 percent apiece.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry were at 4 percent apiece. Rounding out the top 10 was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3 percent.

Mr. Trump, who announced his candidacy in mid-June, jumped 20 percent from his 4 percent showing in a Post-ABC poll released in late May. That survey had Mr. Walker and Mr. Paul in a tie for first at 11 percent, followed by Mr. Bush and Mr. Rubio at 10 percent apiece, Mr. Huckabee at 9 percent, and Mr. Carson and Mr. Cruz at 8 percent apiece.

In response to the survey, Mr. Trump’s campaign released the following statement from him: “People are tired of incompetent leaders and being pushed around at will by other nations, our enemies, and even our friends. Politicians have completely failed the American people. We owe $18 trillion dollars, have porous and dangerous borders, and can’t even take proper care of our magnificent Veterans. If I become president I will do what I do best — fix these problems and Make America Great Again!”

Mr. Trump also hasn’t backed down in the wake of criticism over recent comments he’s made about Mexico and illegal immigrants, as well as the military service of Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The Washington Post reported a drop in support for Mr. Trump on the one night voters were surveyed following his remarks about Mr. McCain over the weekend.

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski downplayed that drop, though, saying 8 percent of the entire poll was done on Sunday and calling it a “statistical error.”

“The whole purpose of a long-term poll is to get statistical[ly] significant sampling, and 8 percent of a poll is not a statistical[ly] significant sample,” he said on CNN. “I don’t guarantee anything in politics, but what I do know is that Mr. Trump is at 24 percent, his next-closest competitor is at 13 percent. If I would want to have a choice of where I want to be, I want to be Mr. Trump at 24 percent leading the polls and not being apologetic for standing up for our country to make America great again.”

The overall survey of 1,002 adults was taken July 16-19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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