When Donald Trump first announced his presidential candidacy earlier this year, a lot of people didn’t take it too seriously, and even now many people find it hard to imagine him as the President of the United States. However, according to a new national poll from Bloomberg, Trump is lapping the Republican field. He was backed by 21 percent of registered Republican voters, followed by Jeb Bush at 10 percent and Scott Walker at 8. It seems possible that Trump’s star will continue to rise, as many Republicans view him as an alternative to “career politicians”.
Fox News, who will be hosting a Republican debate in Cleveland this Thursday, plans on allowing the 10 candidates on stage who fare the best in an average of the five most recent national polls. As of yet, the network hasn’t said which polls it will consider, other than that they need to be conducted by “major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques”. If the Bloomberg survey were the sole decider, then the debate stage candidates would be Trump, Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee (7 percent), Marco Rubio (6), Rand Paul (5), Ben Carson (5), Chris Christie (4), Ted Cruz (4) and John Kasich (4). Other potential candidates that didn’t make the top 10 included Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore.
In recent days, Kasich, Perry and Christie have especially been stepping up their efforts to boost their poll numbers ahead of the cutoff. With the exception of moderate Republicans, Trump has the edge among all subgroups measured in the Bloomberg poll, and even there he’s only edged by one point by Jeb Bush. Apart from objections from candidates who are at the bottom of the polls, the Fox cutoff has also been criticized by some pollsters because it implies a greater level of precision than surveys can offer. Nonetheless, a strong majority in the Bloomberg poll (71 percent) approve of the Fox rules.
Trump’s surge in popularity this summer has come at the expense of other Republicans, who have seen their poll numbers drop since he entered the race seven weeks ago.