Donald Trump’s continued dominance of the Republican presidential field has confounded many top pollsters and analysts since he soared to the top of the field in July.
And a new poll shows that Trump may not be finished surprising them yet.
A CBS poll released on Sunday found Trump largely in the same position he has held in most major polls in the last several months: on top.
The real-estate mogul again led the pack, with 27% of likely Republican primary voters picking him as their preferred nominee as of today.
That placed Trump ahead of his closest competitors — retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who garnered 21% in Sunday’s poll, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who placed third with 9%.
But though some experts may dismiss the findings as another nonpredictive, still-early poll, another result lent credence against such an argument.
According to CBS, 42% of voters surveyed reported paying “a lot” of attention to the presidential race, compared to 36% who reported paying a lot of attention last month. CBS reported that the percentage is notably higher than in the past two election cycles.
Moreover, voters reported that they are more interested in the race at this point than they were in the last election. Sunday’s poll found that 70% of voters said this presidential race was “interesting,” compared to the 40% who reported that the presidential race was interesting in October 2011.
So while more people have begun paying attention to the race and increasing numbers have reported an interest in the cycle, Trump’s numbers have not budged.
The findings suggest a potential flaw in one of the most widely circulated theories of the race at this point: That Trump’s poll numbers are artificially high because of his celebrity status, since voters haven’t begun taking a long, serious look at the race to this point.