Trump was backed by 21 percent of registered voters who identify as Republicans, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 10 percent and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 8 percent.
“Donald Trump is going to continue to grow because we need somebody who is strong,” predicted poll participant Janet Roberts, 69, a nurse in Bellville, Ohio. “He has the balls to stand up against the career politicians.”
Fox News, the host of Thursday's debate in Cleveland, plans to allow on stage the 10 candidates who fare best in an average of the five most recent national polls. The network hasn't said which polls it will consider, other than that they “must be conducted by major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques” and done before 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.
If the Bloomberg survey were the sole decider, the candidates on the debate stage would be, in descending order, Trump, Bush, Walker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, retired surgeon Ben Carson, Christie, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Kasich. The remaining candidates in the historically crowded field have been invited to a forum that will be broadcast earlier Thursday when there are typically fewer viewers.