Eccentric billionaire, real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump is now tied for the lead in the Republican presidential primary race, according to a CNN poll released today.
That finding caps off a stunning two weeks that have seen Trump rising in the GOP field nationally and polling near the front of the pack in crucial early primary states. And while the primaries are still a long way off, and only a few candidates are officially in the field, it raises the question of just how viable a Trump candidacy would be.
In the poll of self-identified Republican adults, Trump and Huckabee tied for first at 19%, followed by Palin at 12%, and Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney at 11% each. Ron Paul placed sixth with 7%, and was trailed by Michele Bachmann (5%), Mitch Daniels (3%), Tim Pawlenty (2%), and Rick Santorum (2%).
Trump posted the biggest gain by far in the latest poll. One month ago, CNN pegged his support at 10%, good for fifth place. But since then, Trump has gone on a media blitz, appearing on cable news shows and repeatedly flogging old conspiracies on the long-since settled issue of President Obama’s citizenship.
This is the second poll in as many weeks to show Trump giving the establishment candidates a run for their money. Last week, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Trump running in second place at 17%, just behind frontrunner Romney’s 21%.
Romney fell furthest in the CNN survey since March, dropping seven points from his second place finish one month ago.
The CNN poll was conducted April 9-10 among 355 Republican adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 5%.