WASHINGTON: A majority of registered voters in America — 56 per cent — now believe that Donald Trump will win Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential elections, shows a new poll released on Tuesday.
The CNN/ORC also shows that 63pc Republican voters believe he will be elected the next US president on Nov 8. And 68pc Republican voters say he will win his party’s nomination.
Mr Trump, a billionaire who preys on people’s fears to win them over, also hit a new high in the race for nomination as 4-in-10 Republican voters now back his quest for the White House.
Republican voters, who participated in the poll, also rated terrorism as the most important issue in considering a candidate for president: 49pc called it “extremely important,” outpacing the share calling the economy, government spending or illegal immigration as central to their vote.
Mr Trump uses strong anti-Muslim rhetoric while outlining his strategy for combating terrorism and wants to stop all Muslims from visiting the US.
Mr Trump has now more than doubled his support base against his nearest competitor, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who scored 19pc compared to 41pc for Mr Trump. No other candidate hit double digits.
Mr Trump leads among both men and women, and younger and older voters. He is also popular among white evangelicals, conservatives and declared Republicans and independents.
Sixty per cent say he is the best suited to improve the US economy. He also has a 55pc to 16pc edge on handling illegal immigration.
About one-third of Republicans say Mr Trump is the candidate who “best represents Republican values”.
CNN points out that Mr Trump’s case for the presidency rests in part on his standing as a political outsider. The poll finds that 55pc Republican voters feel completely unrepresented by the government in Washington, and among those voters, Mr Trump holds a 47pc to 19pc lead over Mr Cruz.
But in hypothetical general election, Mr Trump appears to fare slightly worse than either Mr Cruz or Florida Senator Marco Rubio when matched up against Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Senators Rubio and Cruz each hit 50pc support when matched against Mrs Clinton, while Mr Trump stalls at 47pc.
The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone during January 21 to 24 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.