While the exact percentage points vary, Donald Trump maintains a firm lead in the polls ahead of the Thursday night Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, which the celebrity businessman has decided to sit out. With less than a week before the Iowa caucus, candidates have one last shot to persuade the pool of undecided voters.
Here's a look at the Republican presidential candidates with the field's highest levels of support among potential voters ahead of Thursday night's debate.
The author of “How to Get Rich” leads the still crowded pack of Republican candidates, with 41 percent support in the latest CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday. The poll surveyed 405 adults between Jan. 21-24, 2016, with a sampling error of 5 percent. Four percent of voters said they still had no opinion about the candidates, while 3 percent said they were interested in a candidate not listed in the survey.
In a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted from Jan. 21-24, 2016, with 1,001 adults surveyed and a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, Trump led the pack with 36 percent support.
Sen. Ted Cruz
The Texas senator came in second place in the polls, with 19 percent support in the CNN/ORC poll and 20 percent in the Washington Post/ABC News. Cruz picked up the endorsement of Iowan evangelical and president of the Christian conservative group Family Leader, Bob Vander Plaats, this week, much to the disappointment of Trump, who had been trying to woo him.
Sen. Marco Rubio
When it comes to third place, Rubio falls far behind Cruz with 8 percent support in both the CNN/ORC and Washington Post/ABC News polls. Rubio was endorsed by the Des Moines Register in an editorial that described him as “the party’s best hope.”
Once a front-runner, the retired neurosurgeon has slipped in the polls, coming in fourth place with only 6 percent support in both the CNN/ORC and Washington Post/ABC News polls.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
Toward the bottom of the pack, Bush only has the support of 5 percent of voters surveyed in both polls. Bush is closely trailed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 4 percent support and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, both with 3 percent support.