Donald Trump has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for Republican nomination according to a new poll of likely voters. Donald Trump is now the frontrunner in the Republican nomination race, according to a new poll. The tycoon has the backing of 15 per cent of likely Republican voters, a four point lead over Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, and six points ahead of Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee. Trump also has the largest share of second preference votes, according to the Economist/YouGov poll, with 12 per cent of candidates choosing him as a backup, over Scott Walker on eight per cent.
Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio were selected as backup candidates by seven per cent of voters, while Mike Huckabee trails on six per cent. The shock lead for Trump has opened up three weeks after he launched his election campaign with an astonishing attack on Mexican immigrants. Promising to build a wall along America's southern border, he said rapists, drug dealers and killers were being allowed to flood into the country thanks to lax border controls.
While the comments led to several of Trump's lucrative business deals collapsing, it seems to have struck a chord with sections of the Republican voter base.
The poll shows Trump's approval rating is particularly high among Tea Party members, as two thirds of those who said they were backing him identified with the ideology.
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