22:39 GMT17 February 2020
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    Trump’s lead over his rivals for the US presidency has soared since the first the Republican presidential debate.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Billionaire Donald Trump’s lead over his rivals for the US presidency has soared since the first the Republican presidential debate on Thursday night, the Morning Consult polling organization announced after its latest survey.

    “Trump leads the Republican field with 32 percent of the vote, up seven percentage points over last week’s Morning Consult tracking poll,” the organization announced in a release on Monday. “Trump’s nearest GOP [Grand Old Party] rival, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, clocked in at 11 percent.”

    Despite all the efforts by the other eight candidates participating in the debate, which was watched by 24 million people, no other Republican contender reaches double digits, the release noted.

    Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the only African-American running in the crowded Republican field, came in third at nine percent, followed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senator Marco Rubio at six percent, it said.

    The poll revealed that Trump had gained in popularity, not lost it, when he refused to rule out running as an independent Third Party candidate if he is denied the Republican nomination.

    It also revealed that his public row with Fox News reporter Megan Kelly, with whom he clashed during the debate, had boosted his popularity rather than hurt it, even after he claimed she had “blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”

    In a series of interviews over the weekend, Trump said he did not mean to imply Kelly was menstruating when she asked Trump pointed questions about his earlier statements about women.

    According to Morning Consult, the number of Republican primary voters who view Trump favorably increased since the last tracking poll, to 62 percent from 57 percent.

    Morning Consult produces actionable polling and market research data on the most relevant policy and business questions, according to the organization's web site.

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    Tags:
    debate, rating, 2016 US Presidential Run, Donald Trump, United States
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