- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has a 17-point lead over his nearest 2016 GOP presidential rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in a new national poll on the Republican primary contest.

Mr. Trump was at 36 percent in the CBS News/New York Times poll released Tuesday, followed by Mr. Cruz at 19 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 12 percent.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush were at 6 percent apiece, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 4 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 3 percent apiece, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2 percent and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 1 percent.

Mr. Trump had a similar advantage in a CBS/NYT poll released last month, when he had a 19-point lead over Mr. Cruz, 35 percent to 16 percent.

Mr. Cruz, Mr. Rubio and Mr. Bush all picked up 3 points of support since that poll, while Mr. Carson lost 7 points of support.

Fifty-two percent of Trump voters in the new poll said their mind was made up, compared to 24 percent of non-Trump voters, and 53 percent said they expect Mr. Trump to be the party’s nominee.

Forty percent of GOP primary voters said they would enthusiastically back Mr. Trump if he won the nomination, up from 29 percent in December. And 37 percent said they would enthusiastically support Mr. Cruz, up from 26 percent.

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