INDIANAPOLIS -- A new Bellwether poll has real estate mogul Donald Trump leading the Republican primary race by a hefty margin among Hoosier voters.
The poll, conducted by Bellwether Research and consulting and released Friday, shows Donald Trump with a 26 percent share of potential Republican and Republican-leaning primary voters. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tied for second place with 17 percent each. Ben Carson ranked fourth with 16 percent.
Bellwether surveyed 1,295 registered voters in Indiana between Dec. 2 and 9. The timeframe for the poll happened to coincide this week with controversial comments by Trump calling for a "complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US. Those comments were repudiated by Republicans and Democrats alike, including Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Dan Coats.
The Republican primary ballot was asked of 670 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
The results showed Trump leading among both GOP men and women, at 26 and 25 percent, respectively. He fared better with non-college educated voters (30 percent) than with those who have at least a college degree, (20 percent).
Among the 20 percent of Hoosier voters who identified as "very conservative," Cruz held the lead, with 37 percent of that demographic. Trump was the favorite among 27 percent of "very conservative" voters.
The poll also found a 61 percent disapproval rating among Hoosier voters of the job President Barack Obama is doing.