New York business mogul Donald Trump opened his lead slightly over retired Maryland neurosurgeon Ben Carson in the 2016 S.C.GOP presidential primary, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
S.C. Republican voters have a new third favorite as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida moved ahead of former chief executive Carly Fiorina, according to the poll from CNN/ORC.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz continue to stay close to each other in vying for fifth and sixth place.
And U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham remains in seventh place in his home state.
Trump received 36 percent of support to Carson’s 18 percent in the CNN survey because voters said they believe the former “Celebriry Apprentice” star is best suited to handle a number of key issues. His lead over Carson was 3 percentage points higher than a CBS News/YouGov poll a month ago.
Trump was seen as the best GOP presidential candidate to deal with the economy, foreign policy, ISIS and immigration in the CNN poll.
He also received the most support from voters when they were asked who best: represented values of Republicans; could change how Washington works; understood problems facing people; and could win the general election in 2016.
Carson was seen as the best candidate to handle social issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage — just ahead of Trump.
New 2016 poll
Survey of 521 likely GOP presidential voters in South Carolina conducted by CNN /ORC from Oct. 3-10:
Trump — 36%; Carson — 18%; Rubio — 9%; Fiorina — 7%; Bush — 6%; Cruz — 5%; Graham — 5%; Paul — 4%; Huckabee — 3%; Christie — 2%; Kasich — 1%; Santorum — 1%; Gilmore, Jindal and Pataki — Less than 1%