Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s showing in the latest polls also all but ensures him a spot onstage at the first Republican primary debate, hosted by Fox News, in Cleveland on Aug. 6.
For now, Donald Trump is here to stay, at least according to two new NBC News/Marist polls released Sunday.
Trump — the New York real-estate tycoon and reality-TV host turned 2016 Republican presidential hopeful known for inflammatory rhetoric — has a strong showing in the polls in the first early nominating contests, Iowa and New Hampshire.
His ascendancy comes despite a series of controversial comments — calling Mexicans criminals and “rapists,” and belittling Sen. John McCain’s war record — that left many Republicans fretting he could damage the party’s brand and many pundits predicting his surge would be short-lived.
His strong showing in the latest polls also all but ensures him a spot onstage at the first Republican primary debate, hosted by Fox News, in Cleveland on Aug. 6.
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In Iowa, Trump is polling at 17 percent, nearly tied with Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who is leading with 19 percent. The only other Republican candidate to crack double digits there is former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, with 12 percent.
The poll, conducted July 14 to 21 of 342 potential Republican caucusgoers, had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
In New Hampshire, Trump has the clear lead, polling at 21 percent, with Bush and Walker trailing at 14 and 12 percent, respectively. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, the latest Republican to enter the race, has made headway in the state, polling fourth with 7 percent.
The poll, conducted July 14 to 21 of 401 potential Republican voters, had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
Trump is polling high in Iowa and New Hampshire despite remaining a polarizing force, even in his own party. In Iowa, his favorable/unfavorable rating among Republican voters is 45 percent/44 percent, and in New Hampshire, his favorable/unfavorable rating among Republican voters is even weaker — 39 percent/53 percent.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton retains her lead, though Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is gaining in the polls. In Iowa, Clinton leads Sanders among Democratic voters by 26 percentage points, with 55 percent in the polls; Sanders is in second place with 26 percent. The poll, conducted of 320 potential Democratic caucusgoers, had a margin of error of 6 percentage points.
In New Hampshire, where Sanders represents neighboring Vermont, Clinton leads by a smaller margin — 47 percent to Sanders’ 34 percent. The poll in that state, conducted of 329 potential Democratic voters, had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.