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Donald Trump continues to lead GOP field in new Quinnipiac and Bloomberg polls

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It’s no longer summer, but the Republican Party electorate shows no signs of losing its enthusiasm for the  Donald Trump candidacy, as the New York City real estate magnate continues to lead in two big national polls released on Thursday.

A Quinnipiac survey shows Trump leading the Republican primary pack with 25 percent, followed by 17 percent for Dr. Ben Carson, 12 percent for Carly Fiorina, 10 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 9 percent for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. No other candidate tops 7 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

A Bloomberg poll has Trump leading the GOP field with 21 percent of registered Republicans, followed by Carson with 16 percent, Jeb Bush is third with 13 percent and Fiorina is in fourth place with 11 percent. Marco Rubio is at 8 percent in fifth place, Ted Cruz is at 6 percent.

Fiorina and Carson have seen the strongest gains among Republicans since the previous Bloomberg survey was taken a month ago. Fiorina  leaped by 10 percentage points from her performance in August, while Carson jumped 11 percentage points, up from 5 percent. Trump’s numbers have remained unchanged. Together, the three candidates who have never held political office account for 48 percent of the Republican vote.

“At some level, it is a risk to elect a person with no experience in government,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “Republicans, especially, seem ready to take that risk.”

Bloomberg reports that Rubio has made a great impression on voters. His 60 percent favorability rating was second only to Carson’s 68 percent.

The Bloomberg poll of 1,001 U.S. adults, including 391 registered Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, was conducted from Sept. 18-21. The margin of error on the full sample is plus/minus 3.1 percentage points.

Back to the Quinnipiac poll.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton gets 43 percent of Democrats, with 25 percent for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 18 percent for unannounced Vice President Joe Biden and 10 percent undecided.

While Trump leads the pack with 25 percent support, 29 percent of GOP voters say they “would definitely not” support the front-runner if he were the nominee, while only 11 percent of Democrats say they would “definitely not” support Clinton if she were the Democratic Party’s nominee.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,574 registered voters nationwide from Sept. 17-21. The margin of error of  is at +/- 2.5 percentage points. Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 737 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points and 587 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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