A national Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday shows businessman Donald Trump with a commanding lead among the Republican presidential candidates. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are deadlocked, according to the poll from the Hamden-based university. Trump was the preferred candidate of 39 percent of Republican voters nationwide, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida coming in second at 19 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas close behind in third at 18 percent. No other candidate got more than 10 percent of the vote.
“Like a freight train barreling through signals with his horn on full blast, Trump heads down the track towards a possible nomination,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.
Clinton has a two-point edge over Sanders, 44-42, but the gap is within the margin of error. Sanders narrowly lost to Clinton in the Iowa caucuses and won handily in New Hampshire.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton are neck and neck,” Malloy said. “But while Bernie has the trust, Hillary has the experience. Two different measurements of two dissimilar candidates.”
The Democratic results are virtually unchanged from a poll earlier this month, but Trump has expanded his lead by 8 points since that time.
Next up for Democratic voters are caucuses in Nevada on Saturday, where polls show Clinton and Sanders once again virtually tied. On the Republican side, voters in South Carolina will head to the polls Saturday. Trump leads in polls in that state.