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Quinnipiac: The Donald Soars, The Doc Sinks, Rubio In 2nd

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HAMDEN, Conn. (CBSMiami) -- Less than a year away from the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump sits comfortably in the lead for the Republican nominee as rival Dr. Ben Carson, who's hung closely for the last month, drops to third place, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released Wednesday.

The two-person race over on the Democratic side has widened its gap in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who takes a commanding lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders 60 - 30 percent. Last month, Clinton's lead was 53 - 35 percent in an independent Quinnipiac University poll. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley measures at 2 percent.

The bump for Trump at 27 percent of Republican voters comes at the expense of Carson, who saw his poll numbers dip from 23 percent in early November to 16 percent in December's poll.

That's one point below Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 17 percent.

"It doesn't seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the 'political correctness' is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

By the Numbers:

American voters say 60 – 36 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.

Voters say 59 – 35 percent Trump is not honest and trustworthy.

Sanders gets the best honesty grades among top candidates, 59 – 28 percent, with Carson at 53 – 34 percent, Rubio at 49 – 33 percent and Cruz at 43 – 39 percent.

All American voters say 63 – 32 percent, including 69 – 27 percent among independent voters, that Clinton would have a good chance of beating the Republican nominee in a head-to-head matchup.

Voters are divided 46 – 49 percent on whether Trump would have a good chance of beating the Democratic nominee, with independent voters divided 47 – 48 percent.


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