Real estate magnate Donald Trump’s lead over the Republican field grew in the several days after his performance at the first GOP presidential debate, according to a new Morning Consult survey, even after he invited a new round of scorn from fellow candidates over impolitic comments about Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
Trump leads the Republican field with 32 percent of the vote, up 7 percentage points over last week’s Morning Consult tracking poll. Trump’s nearest GOP rival, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, clocked in at 11 percent.
No other Republican contender reaches double digits – retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson sits in third place at 9 percent, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at 6 percent.
The poll, conducted among a subsample of 746 self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, shows Trump running slightly better with male voters than with female voters. His support is disproportionately strong among older voters and those who say national security is their top issue; he is weakest among those who have earned a college degree.
Trump’s support shows no evidence of slipping after he told a CNN anchor on Friday night that Kelly, one of three moderators overseeing the Fox News debate, had “blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
The share of Republican primary voters who say they view Trump favorably increased since the last tracking poll, to 62 percent from 57 percent. But the number of registered voters who say they see Trump unfavorably remains high — 52 percent of all voters say they see him in a negative light. That makes Trump both the most popular candidate within the Republican field and the least popular candidate Republicans could nominate for next year’s general election. (Read more at Morning Consult)
* The Morning Consult national tracking poll was conducted Aug. 7 through Aug. 9