Donald Trump continues to pull away from the competition among North Carolina voters to secure the GOP nomination for president, the latest Public Policy Polling survey finds.
Trump drew 38 percent of the support, topping Ted Cruz with 16 percent, Marco Rubio with 11 percent, Ben Carson at 8 percent, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush at 6 percent, Chris Christie 4 percent, and 3 percent each for Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul; John Kasich has 2 percent and Rick Santorum 1 percent.
Support for Trump increased by 5 percent from a month ago, according to PPP. Carson, by contrast, fell from 14 percent to 8 percent, and Rubio dropped from 14 percent to 11 percent.
Trump also has the highest favorability rating among all the candidates, with 62 percent. No other candidate has more than 60 percent.
Pollsters are finding support for Trump drops as the field of candidates narrows, according to PPP, which is expected to continue by North Carolina’s March 15 primary. Yet his current numbers are so big he would be expected to have a comfortable lead, PPP says.
Cruz was the most frequent second choice among Republican voters.
Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 59-26 percent, with 5 percent for Martin O’Malley.
The Democratic-leaning poll’s Tom Jensen contends that Clinton’s ratings will improve as the campaigns head into the South, because of what he says is her overwhelming advantage with black voters.
The overall results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. The survey was conducted Jan. 18 to 19 of 948 primary voters, about evenly split between Republican and Democrat. Eighty percent responded by phone, and 20 percent online.