Real-estate mogul Donald Trump has opened up his lead among Republican primary voters to nearly 20 points, according to a New York Times/CBS poll out Thursday.
Trump garnered the support of 35% of Republican voters nationally, a 13-point increase from the previous New York Times/CBS survey. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, at 16%, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, at 13%, were his closest competitors. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was in fourth place, at 9%.
The Times noted that it was Trump’s “strongest position yet” in the survey.
The poll was mostly conducted before [depending on the source] Trump’s statement on Monday pledging to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the US. Those comments have caused a firestorm both within and outside the Republican Party.
Other polls, however, have already signaled that Trump may benefit from his proposal. A Bloomberg Politics survey released Wednesday found that nearly two-thirds of Republican primary voters backed his plan. And a Fox News poll of South Carolina Republicans found Trump gaining support in the days after announcing the proposal.
In the previous Times/CBS survey, taken in late October, Trump trailed Carson 26% to 22%. Cruz has nearly tripled his support from October, while Rubio’s support remained flat.
All other Republican candidates in Thursday’s poll received 4% or less support. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a 20-point lead over her closest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).