Trump has taken the U.S. election season by storm, dominating the headlines and inching ever closer toward grabbing the Republican Party nomination to face off against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While the outspoken businessman has generated a firestorm of criticism from his detractors, he remains the Republican front-runner.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Most likely reflecting his front-runner status, Trump also holds convincing leads in Republicans’ perceptions of which candidate would best handle immigration, national defense and health care, Gallup found.

Trump’s strength on economic issues, compared with his major competitors, most likely reflects the billionaire’s business resume and the emphasis he places on his business experience on the campaign trail, Gallup said.

Neither his rivals, either Senator Ted Cruz or Senator Marco Rubio, has a business background, and the percentages favoring these two on the economy are only 13 percent and 17 percent respectively, Gallup said.

Republicans see Trump as the candidate who would accomplish what he sets out to do as president and as the candidate who would improve the United States’ standing in the world at a time when the country’s foreign policy is perceived as weak by rivals worldwide, according to Gallup.

At the same time, Trump does not have the same perceived strengths on other leadership dimensions.

Indeed, Republicans are significantly more likely to say Cruz, as opposed to either Trump or Rubio, would govern as a true conservative, and Trump holds only a slim edge over Cruz as the candidate most likely to protect Americans’ constitutional rights, Gallup said.

Republicans see Rubio, whose campaign rhetoric has generated much less controversy than that of Trump or Cruz, as having the right temperament to be president, a dimension on which Trump is the least likely to be chosen, Gallup found.

Rubio ties Trump as being able to best deal effectively with Congress, which has been bitterly divided down partisan lines over the last several years.

Though both Rubio and Cruz are senators, Cruz is better known for opposing legislation than for advancing it, including legislation supported by his own party, Gallup said.

Trump’s own supporters — Republicans and Republican leaners — favor the business mogul by large margins as being the best candidate to deal with the economy, the deficit, immigration and improving U.S. standing worldwide.

Between 89 percent and 97 percent of Trump supporters say he is the best candidate for each of these, highlighting the centrality of these issues to his success, Gallup said.

Trump’s supporters are somewhat less likely to see him as the best candidate to handle national security, healthcare, protecting citizens’ rights and dealing effectively with Congress, according to Gallup.

Trump’s relative weaknesses among his supporters are in the areas of abortion, presidential temperament and governing as a true conservative, all things his opponents have criticized him for during the campaign, Gallup said.

Source: Xinhua

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