Story highlights

Donald Trump leads the GOP field with 23% to 13% for both Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, a new poll shows

Marco Rubio is in fourth place at 9%, followed by Jeb Bush's 8% and Ted Cruz's 6%

Washington CNN  — 

Donald Trump’s lead over the two other political newcomers in the Republican presidential pack is now at 10 percentage points, a new Suffolk University/USA Today poll shows.

The real estate mogul is the GOP’s front-runner with 23% support nationally. That’s ahead of Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, who tie for second with 13% backing.

Trump still holds a commanding lead over the GOP pack, far surpassing candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. But the poll on Wednesday reflects that the businessman’s level of support has retreated from earlier in the summer, when Trump hovered above 30% in several surveys.

Rubio is in fourth place at 9% with Bush just behind at 8%. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is in sixth place with 6% support.

They’re the only candidates who appear to have picked up much traction at this point. Behind them, locked in a tie at 2%, are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Then, at 1%, are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The poll offered some good news for Carson, who has courted controversy with his recent remark that he wouldn’t support a Muslim for president, and his subsequent explanations that the central tenets of Islam are out of step with the Constitution.

Nearly half of the voters of all stripes – not just Republicans – said they would vote for a qualified Muslim for president – but 40% said they would not, and a majority – 53% – said they don’t think a Muslim could be elected president.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Sept. 24-28. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The GOP sample is smaller, at 380 Republican voters with a margin of error of 5 points.