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Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Saturday. (Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)
While virtually all the candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination may beg to differ, GOP voters want to see more of Donald Trump.
According to the results of a new CNN/ORC national survey released Sunday, 52 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents want Trump to stay in the race, while 33 percent would like to see the outspoken real estate mogul drop out.
Overall, Trump sits at the top of the GOP pack, with 18 percent support among Republican voters, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (15 percent) second and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (10 percent) third.
What’s more, 22 percent of Republican voters believe Trump will ultimately win the 2016 GOP nomination — putting Trump second only to Bush (31 percent) and ahead of Walker (16 percent). Overall, 40 percent of Americans believe Bush will grab the Republican nomination, while 18 percent say the former “Celebrity Apprentice” host will win.
The poll found Trump is the Republican candidate GOP voters want to see most on the debate stage (18 percent), followed by Bush (14 percent).
The July 22-25 survey was conducted after Trump stirred outrage by questioning Arizona Sen. John McCain’s war-hero status — a signal that his controversial comments did not hurt his candidacy as much as some predicted they might.
Among Democratic voters surveyed, a vast majority (78 percent) believe Hillary Clinton will ultimately win the party’s nomination, while 9 percent say Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will upset Clinton and 8 percent believe Vice President Joe Biden, who has not entered the race, will and will win the Democratic nomination.
The CNN/ORC poll also found that 15 percent want Trump to run as a third-party candidate, something the billionaire businessman has threatened to do if the Republican National Committee, which has urged Trump to tone down his rhetoric, does not treat him fairly.
But RNC chairman Reince Priebus said on Friday he does not think Trump will do so, because, among other things, he doesn’t like to lose.
“I don’t think he’s going to do that,” Priebus told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “I think he knows that if you’re going to beat Hillary Clinton — if Hillary Clinton is going to get beat — there’s only one party that’s going to beat her: It’s the Republican Party.”