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Trump Still Rules GOP Roost After Tuesday’s Debate

Friday, December 18, 2015

Donald Trump still holds the lead in Rasmussen Reports’ latest look at the race for the Republican presidential nomination following Tuesday night’s debate. His voters also are by far the least likely to say they’re going to change their minds.

Our national telephone survey  taken Wednesday and Thursday nights finds that 29% of Likely Republican Voters would vote for Trump if their state presidential primary was held today. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are his closest challengers with 18% and 15% of the GOP vote respectively.

Dr. Ben Carson and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie each earn nine percent (9%) support, closely followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with seven percent (7%) backing. Nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate, while four percent (4%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Trump took the lead after the first debate in early August with 17% of the GOP vote and was still ahead last month with 27% support. Cruz and Rubio have gained ground steadily through the debate season, while Bush’s support has held steady.

The biggest loser is Carson who fell from 20% - and second place - a month ago.

Just 34% of GOP voters say they are certain of their vote. But it’s striking to note that 62% of those who support Trump have made up their minds, nearly twice as many as those who say that of their vote for any other candidate.

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The national telephone survey of 624 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on December 16-17, 2015. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Our latest Trump Change survey finds that a sizable majority of Republicans still believe Trump is likely to be their presidential nominee next year.

Trump leads in virtually every demographic category of Republican voters. But men and those 40 and over are more supportive of his candidacy than women and younger voters are.

GOP conservatives like Cruz a lot more than moderates and liberals do.

Perhaps the biggest surprise remains the inability of Bush, the darling of the GOP establishment, to kick-start his campaign, even after his most aggressive debate performance to date.

Is the GOP Trump’s party now?

Trump has been strongly criticized by his political opponents for his call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants to this country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. But 66% of Republicans like the idea of a Muslim ban.

Tuesday night’s debate again highlighted the strong differences of opinion between the Republican candidates on military and foreign policy issues. 

Just before their third pre-primary debate Saturday night, Democrats still strongly anticipate that Hillary Clinton will be their presidential nominee, according to our latest monthly Hillary Meter survey.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

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