politico.com – Nick Gass
Three in ten voters (30 percent) said that Trump is their first choice, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 15 percent. Neither candidate has held elected office, and 61 percent of voters said they would prefer someone from outside of Washington to bring a new approach.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is further back, at 9 percent, followed by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 6 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 5 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 4 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 3 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 2 percent. All other Republican candidates earned 1 percent or less.
Trump leads along ideological lines as well, winning among those who described themselves very conservative (33 percent), somewhat conservative (31 percent) and moderate to liberal voters (23 percent). Trump also outpolled Carson 33 percent to 18 percent among evangelicals. He also won over more tea party and non-tea party voters, besting Carson and Bush, respectively.
Trump received a solid favorability rating of 58 percent to just 28 percent unfavorable, though Carson drew the highest at 72 percent to 9 percent. Rubio (+43 points), Fiorina (+40 points), Huckabee (+30 points) and Walker (+33 points) also drew net positive favorability marks.
Five candidates have net negative approval ratings, including South Carolina’s own Sen. Lindsey Graham (-15 points), Christie (-8 points), Paul (-13 points), former New York Gov. George Pataki (-24 points) and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (-17 points).
The poll was conducted via telephone from Aug. 20-23, surveying 453 likely Republican primary voters in the Palmetto State, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.
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