A new poll released Monday finds Donald Trump taking a commanding lead nationally among the 16 Republican candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination, but raises questions of whether the real-estate mogul's political campaign can survive his latest controversial comments.
According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, Trump is at the top of the crowded Republican field with 24 percent support among GOP voters, almost double that of his next-closest rival Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who captured 13 percent.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush currently stands a close third behind Walker with the support of 12 percent of polled Republican or Republican-leaning registered voters.
The survey, fielded from Thursday to Sunday, did show a considerable drop in support for Trump following disparaging comments the businessman made about U.S. Sen. John McCain's time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Trump held steady at 28 percent support during the first three days of polling before dropping into single-digit territory following those comments, according to ABC News.
“Although the sample size for the final day was small, the decline was statistically significant,” the Washington Post reported.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all received between 8 percent and 3 percent of Republican voters’ support.
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Ranking within the Republican field is playing a significant roll in the 2016 race for the White House. Fox News Channel and CNN both announced that only the top 10 candidates, based on an average of the most recent national polls, will qualify for a spot behind a podium for each of the network’s first major GOP debates.
The poll of 1,002 adults was conducted with cell phone and landline respondents from July 16-19. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.