As first voting nears, Trump seems stronger
|Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop in Farmington, N.H.|
The Republican electorate is in a sour mood as its members prepare to begin the process of picking a presidential nominee. Almost 9 in 10 say the country is seriously off on the wrong track, and more than 8 in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the federal government works, including nearly 4 in 10 who say they’re angry about it.
Two-thirds worry about maintaining their current living standard, more than 6 in 10 say people with similar values are losing influence in American life, and about half say the nation’s best days are behind it. Half also say immigrants mainly weaken American society, compared with 55 percent of the overall population who say immigrants strengthen America.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas runs second in the national survey, with 21 percent, surpassing his previous high of 15 percent in December. Third place belongs to Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 11 percent, virtually unchanged from 12 percent a month ago.
When first and second choices are combined, Trump is named by 49 percent, Cruz by 39 percent and Rubio by 32 percent — well ahead of the others.