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In the wake of Donald Trump’s overwhelming victories in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, the oft-repeated theory that the front-runner’s support has a national ceiling in the 40 percent(ish) range has just been shattered.
In a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll, Trump draws support from 50 percent of Republicans nationally, increasing his lead over Ted Cruz by four percent since the last poll.
Ted Cruz stands at 26 percent, down two percentage points, while John Kasich brings up the rear with 17 percent.
The online poll was conducted from April 18 through April 24 and included 10,707 voting-age adults, 9,405 of whom are registered voters.
In other polling news, a USA Today/Suffolk poll shows Trump leading with 45 percent support, followed by Cruz at 29 percent and Kasich at 17 percent. This poll shows that Trump will certainly face challenges when it comes to unifying the party. Four in 10 Republicans say they likely won’t vote for Trump if he’s the nominee.
However, the statistics are pretty much the same for Democrats. Although past electoral history indicates many of these people will eventually swallow and vote for their party’s nominee, theoretically if the four in 10 Sanders supporters who say they may not vote for Clinton choose Trump and vice versa, it’s pretty much a wash.
Although there are several reasons not to put a lot of stock in general election polling at this point, Hillary Clinton does lead Trump in this poll 50 percent to 39 percent. She also leads Ted Cruz by seven percentage points in the same poll.
As Donald Trump continues to rack up delegates and majority support in the Republican Party, the question for Cruz supporters will be is that four percent difference enough to deny support to a candidate with a much higher ceiling than Cruz among independents and moderate leaning Republicans should he kick things into high gear in a general election against Hillary Clinton’s (also) strong negatives.
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