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What the Latest Republican Poll Numbers Say

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The latest poll from ABC News and the 'Washington Post' shows businessman Donald Trump's lead over the Republican presidential field is growing. (Reuters photo)

A new poll released Tuesday morning—just ahead of the latest Republican presidential debates—reaffirms a recent trend in national polling.

The ABC News-Washington Post poll shows, following his comments regarding Muslim immigration, businessman Donald Trump has a commanding lead over his next closest challenger, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). According to the poll, his lead and his popularity with likely Republican voters are growing.

Trump now sits at 38 percent, about 6 points higher than in November and October. Dr. Ben Carson, who trailed Trump by just 10 points the past two months, has fallen off to a tie for third with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) at 13 percent.

This has allowed Cruz, who now polls at 15 percent after meandering in the low single digits most of the summer and fall, to move into second place. No other candidate polls above 5 percent, according to the report.

However, the same poll found that Trump slightly trails Hillary Clinton by 6 points in a general election matchup, among registered voters, and by 13 points among all adults. It found 69 percent of Americans expressed some level of "anxiety" at the thought of Trump as president, while a Clinton presidency made about 51 percent "anxious."

The poll of 1,002 American adults conducted Dec. 10-13 had a margin of error of 3.5 points for the full sample, 4 points for all registered voters, and 6 points for registered leaned Republicans.

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