CBS NEWS POLL

For release: Sunday October 11, 2015
10:30 am EDT
The 2016 Republican Primary Race: Trump Still Leads
October 4-8, 2015

Donald Trump (27%) remains in the lead in the race for the Republican nomination, with Ben
Carson (21%) in second place.

Carson and Trump have the highest favorable ratings among Republican primary voters, but
Trump – along with Jeb Bush -- also has the highest unfavorable rating. Jeb Bush’s favorable
rating has dropped 11 points since August.

Among registered voters overall, Trump is viewed more negatively; 53% are unfavorable.

Carson receives strong assessments from Republican primary voters on being honest and
caring, while Trump continues to be seen as the strongest leader.

The Race for the Nomination
Donald Trump continues to lead the field nationally in the race to become the Republican nominee for
president. 27% of Republican primary voters support Trump, giving him a six point lead over his
closest competitor, neurosurgeon Ben Carson (21%).
The rest of the Republican field is in single digits, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz inching up into third
place with 9%, followed by Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 8%. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina and
former Florida Governor Jeb Bush follow at 6% each. Former Governor Mike Huckabee has also
slipped considerably since the summer, from 8% in August to just 2% today.
2016 Republican Nomination for President
(Among Republican primary voters)
Now
9/2015
8/2015
Donald Trump
27%
27%
24%
Ben Carson
21
23
6
Ted Cruz
9
5
6
Marco Rubio
8
6
6
Jeb Bush
6
6
13
Carly Fiorina
6
4
*
Rand Paul
4
3
4
Chris Christie
3
1
3
Mike Huckabee
2
6
8
John Kasich
2
3
1
Rick Santorum
1
1
1
Bobby Jindal
*
*
2
George Pataki
*
*
1
Lindsey Graham
-*
*
Jim Gilmore
--1
Don’t know
11
9
9
*Less than 0.5%

1

When Republican voters are asked who would be their second choice for the nomination, Ben Carson
(20%) and Marco Rubio (18%) are the most mentioned candidates.
Among Trump supporters, Carson is the top second choice, far ahead of any other candidate.
Seven in ten Republican primary voters would support Trump if he became the party’s eventual
nominee, though many would have reservations. 29% would support Trump enthusiastically, while
42% would support him with reservations, and another 8% would only support him because he is the
party’s nominee. One in five Republican primary voters would not support Trump if he became the
nominee.
If Trump is Republican Nominee, Would You…
(among Republican primary voters)
Total
Trump
Support Other
Voters
Supporters
Candidate
Support him enthusiastically
29%
67%
18%
Support him with reservations
42
32
45
Support because he’s the nominee
8
1
12
Would not support him
19
*
25
*Less than 0.5%

Trump continues to be viewed as the most electable candidate in a general election. 35% say Trump
has the best chance of winning in November 2016, followed by Ben Carson (18%).
Best Chance of Winning in November 2016
(among Republican primary voters)
Now
9/2015
8/2015
Donald Trump
35%
39%
26%
Ben Carson
18
18
1
Marco Rubio
11
5
4
Jeb Bush
10
11
23
Carly Fiorina
7
*
-Ted Cruz
5
4
4
(Table has been truncated. Not all candidates are listed)

Views of the Candidates
Carson, Trump, Rubio, and Fiorina are all viewed more favorably than unfavorably among Republican
primary voters. At 62%, favorable views of Ben Carson are the highest of this group, only 7% are
unfavorable. 53% have a favorable view of Donald Trump, and 50% have a positive assessment of
Marco Rubio. While Trump’s unfavorable rating is more than twice that of either Rubio or Fiorina, many
don’t have an opinion of the latter two candidates. Former Governor Jeb Bush is now viewed more
unfavorably (38%) than favorably (32%) by Republican primary voters.

2

Ben Carson
Donald Trump
Marco Rubio
Carly Fiorina
Jeb Bush

Views of the Republican Candidates
(Among Republican Primary Voters)
Favorable
Not Favorable
62%
7
53%
29
50%
12
45%
13
32%
38

Undecided/haven’t heard
30
18
38
40
30

While the favorable ratings of both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have risen slightly since August
among Republican primary voters, Bush’s favorable rating has dropped 11 points.
Favorable Views of the Republican Candidates
(Among Republican Primary Voters)
Now
8/2015
Donald Trump
53%
47%
Marco Rubio
50%
46%
Jeb Bush
32%
43%
These Republican candidates are viewed less positively among all registered voters nationwide.
Carson has the highest favorable rating among this broader group of voters, and Fiorina is viewed more
favorably than not. Voters divide in their views of Rubio. Many voters overall don’t have an opinion of
these three contenders.
53% of registered voters overall have an unfavorable opinion of Trump – the highest of the Republicans
asked about. Bush is also viewed negatively.

Ben Carson
Donald Trump
Marco Rubio
Carly Fiorina
Jeb Bush

Views of Republican Candidates
(among registered voters)
Favorable
Not favorable
34%
22
28%
53
27%
25
26%
21
20%
48

Undecided/Haven’t heard
41
19
46
51
30

Assessing the “Outsiders” on the Issues
More Republican primary voters are very confident in Trump than in Carson or Fiorina to handle the
economy and immigration. Few Republican primary voters are very confident in the ability of any of the
three to handle an international crisis.
Still, most Republican primary voters have at least some confidence in the abilities of all three
candidates to handle these issues.

3

Confident in These Candidates on the Issues
(Among Republican Primary Voters)
Trump
Carson
Fiorina
Economic decisions
Very
50%
31%
27%
Somewhat
33
40
30
Not too/not at all
16
21
29
Don’t know
1
9
14
Decisions on illegal immigration
Very
Somewhat
Not too/not at all
Don’t know

44%
30
27
*

33%
34
22
11

15%
38
30
16

Dealing with an international crisis
Very
23%
Somewhat
39
Not too/not at all
38
Don’t know
1

23%
42
25
11

16%
36
33
14

Candidate Qualities
Republican primary voters choose honesty (39%) as the most important quality in their choice of a
candidate, though nearly as many pick being a strong leader (36%). Far fewer choose caring about
people like them (13%), having the right experience (8%), or being able to win the general election in
November (2%) as most important.
Most Important Candidate Quality in Deciding Vote for Nomination
(Among Republican Primary Voters)
Is honest and trustworthy
39%
Is a strong leader
36
Cares about people like me
13
Has the right experience
8
Can win a general election
2
Ben Carson is the top choice of Republican primary voters who most value honesty, while Donald
Trump is the top choice of those who value strong leadership.
Most Republican primary voters give Trump, Carson, and Fiorina high marks on many of these
candidate qualities, but Ben Carson is perceived as the most honest: 81% think he is honest and
trustworthy, compared to 60% for Fiorina and 53% for Trump. 39% do not think Trump is honest and
trustworthy, far more than either Carson or Fiorina.
Candidate Qualities: Honest and Trustworthy
(Among Republican primary voters)
Trump
Carson
Fiorina
Yes
53%
81%
60%
No
39
7
21
Don’t know
8
12
19

4

Ben Carson is also seen as the candidate who most cares about people like them. 56% think he cares
a lot, more than twice as many as say the same for Trump or Fiorina.
Candidate Qualities: Cares about People Like You
(Among Republican primary voters)
Trump
Carson
Fiorina
A lot
26%
56%
24%
Some
45
27
45
Not much/not at all
28
9
18
Don’t know
1
8
14
But Donald Trump is seen as the strongest leader: 84% think Trump has strong qualities of leadership,
compared to 72% for Carson and 60% for Fiorina.

Yes
No
Don’t know

Candidate Qualities: Strong Leadership
(Among Republican primary voters)
Trump
Carson
Fiorina
84%
72%
60%
14
16
21
2
12
19

Most think both Trump (59%) and Carson (53%) have the right kind of experience to be president,
though they are less sure of Fiorina (43%).

Yes
No
Don’t know

Candidate Qualities: Experience
(Among Republican primary voters)
Trump
Carson
Fiorina
59%
53%
43%
38
33
39
3
15
18

As for what the right kind of experience is, most Republican primary voters think it’s more important for
the next President to have experience in the private sector (55%) than in politics or government (10%),
though 34% say it doesn’t matter.
Type of Experience for Next President
(Among Republican primary voters)
Business and the private sector
55%
Politics and government
10
Doesn’t matter
34

5

More Voters are Tuning In
Voters are increasingly turning their attention to the presidential campaign. 42% now say they are
paying a lot of attention, up from 36% last month. More are paying a lot of attention now, compared to
this point in time in the last two presidential election cycles.
Paying Attention to the 2016 Presidential Campaign
(among registered voters)
Now 9/2015 10/2011
10/2007
A lot
42% 36% 31%
24%
Some
37
35
39
52
Not much
14
17
21
19
None at all
7
12
10
5
In addition, most voters find this campaign interesting. Seven in 10 say they do, including majorities of
Republicans, Democrats and independents. According to an October 2011 Pew Poll, just 40% of voters
described the presidential campaign as interesting.
How Would You Describe the 2016 Presidential Campaign?
(among registered voters)
Now
10/2011*
Interesting
71%
40%
Dull
25
49
*Pew Research Poll

When voters are asked in an open-ended question, which one issue they would like to hear the
presidential candidates discuss, the economy and jobs (24%) is the top answer, followed by
immigration (11%), and foreign policy (10%). Health care and guns are also mentioned.
The economy and jobs are the top priority for voters across party lines. Republicans are more likely
than Democrats to want the candidates to talk about immigration.
Issue You Most Want to Hear the Candidates Discuss
(among registered voters)
Total Reps Dems Inds
Economy and jobs
24% 26% 25% 21%
Immigration
11
16
7
10
Foreign policy
10
13
8
8
Health care
6
7
4
7
Guns/laws/2nd amendment
4
4
6
2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------This poll was conducted by telephone October 4-8, 2015 among a random sample of 1,251 adults nationwide,
including 1,038 registered voters. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA.
Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.
The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly
selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who
answered the phone.
Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers.

6

The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.
The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points.
The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of
standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.
The margin of error for the sample of 419 Republican primary voters is 5 percentage points.
This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

7

CBS NEWS POLL
Republican Race: Trump Still Leads
October 4-8, 2015
Q12. How much attention have you been able to pay to the 2016 Presidential campaign -- a lot, some, not much, or no
attention so far?

A lot
Some
Not much
No attention so far
Don't know/No answer

** REGISTERED VOTERS **
Total Rep
Dem Ind
%
%
%
%
42
48
43
37
37
40
38
33
14
7
11
21
7
4
8
8
*
*
*
1

Sep15a1
%
36
35
17
12
1

Q12a. How would you describe the 2016 presidential election campaign so far--is it interesting to you, or would you say
it is dull?
Interesting
Dull
Neither (Vol.)
Don't know/No answer

71
25
3
2

79
17
2
2

71
25
4
1

64
31
2
2

Q13. Which ONE issue would you most like to hear the candidates for president discuss during the 2016 presidential
campaign?
Economy & jobs
Immigration/illegal immigrants
Foreign policy/misc. foreign affairs
Health care
Guns/2nd amendment/ gun laws
Defense/military/national security
Poverty/ government programs for
Environment/global warming
Miscellaneous social issues
Education/school loans
Foreign aid/ isolationist attitudes
Miscellaneous government issues
Budget/deficit
Taxes/IRS/cut/raise taxes
Income gap
Other
Don't know/No answer

24
11
10
6
4
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
16
8

26
16
13
7
4
3
*
1
1
2
2
3
*
16
6

25
7
8
4
6
1
2
5
5
3
1
1
*
1
2
19
10

21
10
8
7
2
3
2
2
2
3
3
2
5
1
2
18
9

*Less than 0.5%

8

Q14. Next year, are you more likely to vote in a Republican presidential primary or caucus, or a Democratic presidential
primary or caucus or aren't you likely to vote in a primary or caucus at all?

Republican primary
Democratic primary
Not likely to vote
Never vote (Vol.)
Don't know/No answer

** REGISTERED VOTERS **
Total Rep
Dem Ind
%
%
%
%
38
86
2
28
33
2
84
19
17
7
7
32
*
1
12
5
7
20

Sep15a1
%
36
33
17
*
14

Q15. Which one of these candidates would you like to see the Republican Party nominate for President in 2016?

Donald Trump
Ben Carson
Ted Cruz
Marco Rubio
Jeb Bush
Carly Fiorina
Rand Paul
Chris Christie
Mike Huckabee
John Kasich
Rick Santorum
Bobby Jindal
George Pataki
Lindsey Graham
Jim Gilmore
Someone else (vol.)
None of them (vol.)
Don't know/No answer

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
%
27
21
9
8
6
6
4
3
2
2
1
*
*
2
11

Sep15a1
%
27
23
5
6
6
4
3
1
6
3
1
*
*
*
3
4
9

*Less than 0.5%

9

Q16. Who would be your second choice for the Republican nomination for president?
REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS WITH A CHOICE IN q15
%
Ben Carson
20
Marco Rubio
18
Carly Fiorina
13
Donald Trump
11
Jeb Bush
7
Ted Cruz
6
Mike Huckabee
6
Chris Christie
5
Rand Paul
2
Lindsey Graham
1
John Kasich
1
Bobby Jindal
*
George Pataki
*
Rick Santorum
1
Jim Gilmore
Someone else (vol.)
*
None of them (vol.)
4
Don't know/No answer
4

Sep15a1
%
19
7
6
12
9
12
4
4
3
*
2
1
*
1
7
5
8

Q17. Regardless of how you intend to vote in 2016, which one of these Republican presidential candidates do you think
has the best chance of winning the general election in November 2016?

Donald Trump
Ben Carson
Marco Rubio
Jeb Bush
Carly Fiorina
Ted Cruz
Chris Christie
Rand Paul
John Kasich
Lindsey Graham
Mike Huckabee
George Pataki
Rick Santorum
Jim Gilmore
Bobby Jindal
Someone else (vol.)
None of them (vol.)
Don't know/No answer

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
35
18
11
10
7
5
2
2
1
*
*
*
*
*
1
9

Sep15a1
39
18
5
11
*
4
2
1
2
*
1
*
*
3
*
14

10

Q18. If Donald Trump became the 2016 Republican nominee for President, would you enthusiastically support him,
support him but with reservations, support him only because he is the Republican Party nominee, or not support him?

Enthusiastically support
Support with reservations
Support only because nominee
No support
Don't know/No answer

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
%
29
42
8
19
1

Sep15a1
%
35
36
12
15
2

Q27. We'd like to get your opinion of some public figures. For each of the following people, please say whether your
opinion is favorable, not favorable, undecided, or whether you haven't heard enough about him or her yet to have an
opinion.
a. Jeb Bush

Favorable
Not favorable
Undecided
Haven't heard enough
Don't know/No answer

************ REGISTERED VOTERS ************
Total Rep
Dem Ind
Rep. Primary Voters
%
%
%
%
%
20
35
11
16
32
48
34
63
49
38
19
22
14
21
21
11
9
11
13
9
1
*
1
2
*

Jul15e
%
30
40
17
12
1

27
25
15
31
2

48
12
11
29
1

10
45
13
29
2

24
21
21
33
2

50
12
12
26
*

24
22
12
39
3

28
53
16
3
1

51
31
16
2
-

7
81
7
4
1

26
48
22
3
1

53
29
16
2
*

27
59
9
4
1

b. Marco Rubio
Favorable
Not favorable
Undecided
Haven't heard enough
Don't know/No answer
c. Donald Trump
Favorable
Not favorable
Undecided
Haven't heard enough
Don't know/No answer

11

d. Ben Carson

Favorable
Not favorable
Undecided
Haven't heard enough
Don't know/No answer

************ REGISTERED VOTERS ************
Total Rep
Dem Ind
Rep. Primary Voters
%
%
%
%
%
34
59
12
32
62
22
9
41
18
7
14
14
11
17
15
27
17
33
31
15
2
1
2
2
1

e. Carly Fiorina
Favorable
Not favorable
Undecided
Haven't heard enough
Don't know/No answer

26
21
13
38
2

44
14
12
29
1

11
33
11
43
2

23
19
15
41
2

45
13
11
29
1

Q27aa. Which one of these candidate qualities is most important to you in deciding who to support for the
Democratic/Republican nomination for president in 2016?
Is honest and trustworthy
Is a strong leader
Cares about people like me
Has the right experience
Can win a general election
Don't know/No answer

39
36
13
8
2
1

Q21. Would you prefer the next president to be someone whose experience has been mostly in politics and
government, or someone whose experience has been mostly in the business or private sector, or doesn't it matter to
you?

Mostly business or private sector
Mostly politics & government
Doesn't matter
Don't know/No answer

34
28
36
2

51
12
36
2

12
51
35
1

38
23
36
2

55
10
34
1

12

Q34. How confident are you in Donald Trump’s ability to make the right decisions about the economy--are you very
confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
%
50
33
8
8
1

Jul15e
%
47
24
9
19
1

Q35. How confident are you in Donald Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis-are you very confident, somewhat
confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

23
39
18
20
1

Q35a. How confident are you in Donald Trump’s ability to make the right decisions about illegal immigration--are you
very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

44
30
13
14
*

39
26
9
24
2

Q36. How confident are you in Ben Carson’s ability to make the right decisions about the economy--are you very
confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

31
40
14
7
9

13

Q37. How confident are you in Ben Carson’s ability to handle an international crisis-are you very confident, somewhat
confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
%
23
42
16
9
11

Q37a. How confident are you in Ben Carson’s ability to make the right decisions about illegal immigration--are you very
confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

33
34
17
5
11

Q38. How confident are you in Carly Fiorina’s ability to make the right decisions about the economy--are you very
confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

27
30
18
11
14

Q39. How confident are you in Carly Fiorina’s ability to handle an international crisis-are you very confident, somewhat
confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

16
36
19
14
14

Q39a. How confident are you in Carly Fiorina’s ability to make the right decisions about illegal immigration--are you very
confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not at all confident
Don't know/No answer

15
38
18
12
16

14

Q40. Do you think Donald Trump is honest and trustworthy, or not?

Honest and trustworthy
Not honest and trustworthy
Don't know/No answer

************ REGISTERED VOTERS ************
Total Rep
Dem Ind
Rep. Primary Voters
%
%
%
%
%
33
51
17
31
53
60
42
79
60
39
7
7
4
9
8

Sep15a1
%
35
55
11

Q41. How much do you think Donald Trump cares about the needs and problems of people like yourself--a lot, some,
not much, or not at all?
A lot
Some
Not much
Not at all
Don't know/No answer

15
28
17
38
2

24
44
16
15
1

6
12
18
62
2

14
28
17
38
2

26
45
14
14
1

Q42. Do you think Donald Trump has the right kind of experience to be a good president, or not?
Yes
No
Don't know/No answer

35
62
3

56
42
2

12
86
2

35
60
5

59
38
3

Q43. Do you think Donald Trump has strong qualities of leadership, or not?
Yes, has
No, does not have
Don't know/No answer

65
33
2

82
17
1

47
52
2

65
31
4

84
14
2

56
41
3

81
7
12

49
16
36

Q44. Do you think Ben Carson is honest and trustworthy, or not?
Honest and trustworthy
Not honest and trustworthy
Don't know/No answer

58
18
24

77
7
16

42
32
26

54
17
29

Q45. How much do you think Ben Carson cares about the needs and problems of people like yourself--a lot, some, not
much, or not at all?
A lot
Some
Not much
Not at all
Don't know/No answer

33
30
13
9
15

53
26
7
3
10

16
34
21
14
14

28
31
12
9
20

56
27
6
3
8

15

Q46. Do you think Ben Carson has the right kind of experience to be a good president, or not?

Yes
No
Don't know/No answer

************ REGISTERED VOTERS ************
Total Rep
Dem Ind
Rep. Primary Voters
%
%
%
%
%
33
49
17
33
53
44
34
63
39
33
22
17
20
28
15

Q47. Do you think Ben Carson has strong qualities of leadership, or not?

Yes, has
No, does not have
Don't know/No answer

51
29
20

69
16
16

37
44
19

48
29
24

72
16
12

Sep15a1
%
38
25
37

Q48. Do you think Carly Fiorina is honest and trustworthy, or not?
Honest and trustworthy
Not honest and trustworthy
Don't know/No answer

39
31
29

57
19
23

24
45
31

36
31
34

60
21
19

Q49. How much do you think Carly Fiorina cares about the needs and problems of people like yourself--a lot, some, not
much, or not at all?
A lot
Some
Not much
Not at all
Don't know/No answer

13
39
16
14
18

24
43
8
8
17

6
34
23
20
18

10
39
17
14
19

24
45
10
8
14

Q50. Do you think Carly Fiorina has the right kind of experience to be a good president, or not?
Yes
No
Don't know/No answer

27
49
24

41
36
22

13
66
21

27
47
26

43
39
18

Q52. Do you think Carly Fiorina has strong qualities of leadership, or not?

Yes, has
No, does not have
Don't know/No answer

44
34
22

58
22
20

28
50
22

45
31
23

60
21
19

16

Unweighted
1,251

Weighted

Total Respondents
Total Registered Voters

1,038

948

Registered Voters - Republicans
Registered Voters - Democrats
Registered Voters - independents

339
311
388

295
284
369

Republican Primary voters

419

361

17