Polls indicate that business magnate Donald Trump has extended his lead in the the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with almost twice the support of his closest rival, just as he ignited a new controversy after demeaning the Vietnam War status of Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War service, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll.
Trump’s support fell sharply after he questioned the “war hero” status of fellow Republican Senator John McCain, but that was not indicated in the polls.
Even with the drop in support on the final night of the survey, Trump was the favorite of 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That is the highest percentage and biggest lead recorded by any GOP candidate this year in Post-ABC News polls and marks a sixfold increase in his support since late May, shortly before he formally joined the race.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy a week ago, is in second place, at 13 percent, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 12 percent. Walker’s support is strongest among those who describe themselves as “very conservative.”