Trump’s campaign says poll shows he’s a 2016 “front-runner”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Real estate developer Donald Trump is celebrating after a second poll of the 2016 GOP presidential race showed him near the front of the pack.

The Fox News poll, published Wednesday, gave Trump 11 percent of the Republican vote nationally. This was more than double the 4 percent he received in the previous Fox survey and places him behind only former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida (15 percent).

Trump is clearly quite happy about the results, especially after his second-place standing in a New Hampshire state poll released earlier in the week. In a Wednesday night press release, his campaign said the Fox survey showed he was a “front-runner” and a “serious contender” for the GOP nomination.

The star of NBC’s “The Apprentice” further touted the polls and panned Bush as a “bust” on Twitter:

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Even though Iowa’s caucusgoers do not vote until next year, national poll results are significant because they will determine which 10 candidates will be allowed to participate in the first GOP primary debate in August. That debate is sponsored by Fox News. The few televised debates are widely viewed as crucial opportunities for lower-tier candidates to shine.

Some pollsters, however, are urging people to not read too much into the results of these early surveys, which often reflect name recognition more than long-lasting support. Indeed, past polls have indicated Trump is unpopular with the broader Republican electorate. The Fox News poll also came with a noticeably large margin of error of plus-or-minus 5%.

“It might be wise to take a deep breath,” Politico’s Daniel Strauss wrote Wednesday. “Pollsters and GOP consultants in the state chalked up Trump’s bump to a mixture of his recent candidacy announcement and the high name recognition that comes from his notoriously flamboyant personality, not to mention his reality-show fame.”

Andy Smith, the director of the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, quipped, “Everybody should calm down.”