(Greg Allen/Invision/AP) Donald Trump's position on immigration does not seem to be hurting the real-estate developer's standing in the Republican presidential primary.
Two new polls have him in first place among registered Republican voters.
The latest poll arrived Thursday. In the Economist/YouGov poll, Trump holds 15% of the Republican vote nationally — ahead of former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida (11%).
The good news for Trump doesn't stop there.
"Trump looks even better as a candidate this week when Republicans are asked for their second choice," YouGov's Kathy Frankovic wrote along with the results. "When they are, Trump extends his lead. One in four Republicans who are registered to vote say he is their first or second choice."
A new Public Policy Polling survey of North Carolina published Wednesday also placed Trump ahead of the GOP pack. In that poll, Trump led Bush 16% to 12%.
"Trump's favorability rating in North Carolina is 55/32, much higher than we were finding in national polls prior to his entry into the race," PPP director Tom Jensen said. "Trump's really caught fire with voters on the far right — 66% of 'very conservative' voters see him favorably to only 24% with a negative view of him."
Trump has been at the center of a media firestorm since he kicked off his campaign last month. Much of the attention is focused on Trump's statements against illegal immigration. The real-estate magnate has accused the Mexican government of sending "rapists" and others criminals to the US. Many of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have condemned his remarks.
Trump's position atop the polls, however, may be a bit of an illusion. Two polling experts previously told Business Insider that his support could simply be a product of his high name recognition: Trump is a national figure thanks in part to his luxury brands and his reality-television show, "The Apprentice."
"This year, with close to 20 candidates expected to enter the race, the threshold for looking like a top-tier contender is quite low — even 10% of GOP primary voters is enough," Princeton University polling expert Sam Wang said earlier this month. "We don't know whether his ceiling is greater than 50% of GOP voters ... or more like 25% of GOP voters."
University of Michigan political-science professor Michael Traugott, a polling expert, agreed.
"Trump has greater name recognition than many of the others, especially the governors," he said. "But name recognition is not the same as support."
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