Donald Trump jumps to an 18-point lead over Ted Cruz this week with record high support for the Republican nomination. Trump tops Cruz by 45-27 percent among GOP primary voters in a new Fox News national poll on the 2016 election. John Kasich comes in third with 25 percent.
Just 3 weeks ago, Trump was up by three over Cruz: 41-38 percent, with Kasich at 17 percent (March 20-22, 2016). Forty-five percent is a new high for Trump. The previous high was last month’s 41 percent.
Trump’s best numbers come from GOP voters without a college degree (54 percent) and those who describe themselves as “very” conservative (50 percent).
Still, when voters are asked which Republican candidate has the best chance to defeat Clinton, they pick Trump first (42 percent), followed by Cruz (24 percent) and Kasich (20 percent). GOP primary voters are even more bullish on Trump: 58 percent say he has the best odds, while 21 percent say Cruz and 16 percent Kasich.
“When it comes to electability, the disconnect between what Republicans think and what the polling data show is astounding,” says Daron Shaw, Republican pollster who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democratic pollster Chris Anderson. “Close to three times as many think Trump has the best chance against the Democrats despite the fact he’s down seven points to Clinton while Kasich is up nine.”