- Donald Trump holds a 14-point advantage over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
- The poll also found that 10% of Republican primary voters say Cruz being born outside the U.S. makes them less likely to vote for him
The real-estate magnate is leading Cruz, 34% to 20%, among Republican primary voters. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the only other candidate with double-digit support, is in third place with 11% of the vote. He's followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who received 8%, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich tied for fifth with 4%.
Rounding out the field is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (3%), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (2%), former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (1%), with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum receiving less than .5%.
The poll also found that 10% of Republican primary voters say Cruz being born outside the U.S. -- he was born in Canada to an American mother, making him a natural-born U.S. citizen -- makes them less likely to vote for him.
Overall, 61% of voters say Cruz is eligible to be president, while 27% disagree. Those who identify as Democrats were significantly more likely to question his eligibility (54% saying he is eligible to 38% saying he is not eligible) than Republicans (71% to 20%), with independents saying he can be president by a margin of 63% to 16%, with 20% saying they don't know.
The poll comes less than two weeks before the first votes are cast in Iowa and as Trump and Cruz have increasingly taken shots at each other and the Republican establishment.
Meanwhile, a growing number of Republicans are warning that the party would suffer deep losses
down the ticket and risk electing a Democratic president if the Texas senator wins the nomination, while the National Review, a leading conservative voice for decades, published a special issue on Friday
featuring a collection of writers expressing their opposition to Trump.
The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers from January 18 to 21 and featured a random national sample of 1,009 registered voters. Results based on the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, and 4.5 points for the Republican primary voter sample (405 voters).