A new Fox News poll released just three days ahead of the first GOP debate in Cleveland shows Donald Trump is not only leading the Republican field, but that he's been gaining ground despite a series of controversial comments.
Trump receives the backing of 26 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters -- up from 18 percent in mid-July and 11 percent a month ago. That’s not only the highest level of support for Trump, but it’s also the highest any GOP candidate has received since the Fox poll began asking the question in December 2013.
What’s more, the number of GOP primary voters saying they would at least consider backing Trump has more than doubled in the last two months.
Behind Trump and Bush, it’s Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 9 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 7 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 6 percent each, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 5 percent a piece, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich get 3 percent each.
That group is followed by businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tied at 2 percent, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tied at 1 percent and former New York Gov. George Pataki, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore receive less than 1 percent support.
Trump will be at the debate and Cleveland and then at the Red State Gathering in Atlanta for a speech on Saturday night.
Since announcing his candidacy last month, Trump hasn't minced words when it comes to how he feels about other Republicans running for president. For now, his bold and brash attitude has taken him to the top of the polls. We'll see if Trump can stay at the top after opponents point out his less-than conservative record on everything from single-payer healthcare advocacy to crony capitalism.