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Trump Strengthens Lead Over Cruz in New Poll

January 14, 2016

GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Las VegasGOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Las Vegas
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Donald Trump now holds a double-digit lead over Republican opponent Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential race, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journalnational poll.

Trump is the first choice of 33 percent of Republican primary voters, the national survey found. Cruz was the preference of 20 percent of respondents,followed by Sen. Marco Rubio at 13 percent and pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 12 percent.

The poll results come as the candidates prepare to face off inThursday night’s GOP debate, weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. The debate is expected to highlight the growing rivalry between Trump and Cruz.

The survey, conducted between Saturday and Wednesday, included 400 Republican primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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