Real-estate magnate Donald Trump held his biggest lead yet in a new CNN poll of Republican primary voters released Monday, a day ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses that he looks set to dominate.
Trump grabbed 49% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters nationally, according to the poll. That put him more than 30 points ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio, who was at 16%, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who was at 15%. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was at 10% in the poll, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich rounded out the Republican field at 6%.
Trump’s number in the poll was up eight points from last month, before the first caucuses and primaries of the election season. Rubio also saw an eight-point jump, while Cruz fell four points in the survey.
The CNN survey provided him with a better standing than other polls recently. According to the RealClearPolitics average of recent national surveys, Trump has about a 16-point lead.
Trump’s rivals are scrambling to prevent him from running away with the Republican presidential nominations after his dominating victories in three of the first four voting states. Trump has strung off three consecutive victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, ahead of Super Tuesday’s contests, in which more than 10 states vote.
Polls have shown that Trump with wide leads in many of those states over the past week. He also has received new momentum from the high-profile endorsements of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
The CNN poll found that Trump’s supporters were highly enthusiastic about the election season and largely committed to voting for him. Almost 80% of Trump supporters said they were more excited about voting this year compared to past elections. And almost the same eight in 10 said they would definitely support him, compared with 57% for other candidates.
The poll was conducted from February 24-27, so it included two days of sampling both before and after last week’s tense Republican presidential debate.