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Washington : Amid party establishment's 'Dump Trump' campaign, the billionaire continues to be the top choice of Republican voters for their party's nomination, while Hillary Clinton beats rival Bernie Sanders in the Democratic contest, according to new polls.
A new CNN/ORC poll finds little appetite among Republicans for replacing the front-runner with another candidate at the party convention or through a third-party run, but most of those opposed to Trump's candidacy continue to pine for another option.
With the field whittled to just three candidates, 47 percent of Republicans say they'd most like to see Trump win their party's nomination, about the same as the 49 percent who said they would be most likely to support him in February.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz follows at 31 percent, with Ohio Governor John Kasich the preferred choice of 17 percent of Republican voters. Trump tops the enthusiasm race as well, with 40 percent saying they would be enthusiastic about a Trump candidacy compared with 28 percent who would be that excited about Cruz and 19 percent about Kasich.
Democrats are more apt to see their own party as united, 38 percent say so, while 44 percent say it's divided now but will unite by November and just 15 percent feel the party won't be united come November, according to the poll.
Clinton continues to top Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination, with 51 percent saying they'd most like to see the former secretary of state atop the party's ticket in November compared with 44 percent who want to see Sanders lead the Democrats into November.
That's narrower than the 55 percent Clinton to 38 percent Sanders margin in late-February, when voters were asked who they would be most likely to support. Both of the remaining Democratic nominees top Trump by a wide margin in hypothetical general election matchups, Sanders over Trump by 20 points and Clinton over Trump by 12 points.
Sanders fares better than Clinton against each of the three remaining Republicans, topping Cruz by 13 points and Kasich by 6. Clinton runs even with Cruz and trails Kasich by 6 points. Meanwhile, a new New York Times/CBS News poll found that 60 percent of Republicans are embarrassed by their party's primary campaign, compared with just 13 percent of Democrats.
Republicans were also much more likely to say they felt their party was divided, with 88 percent saying yes compared with 33 percent of Democrats. Members of the Republican Party were also less likely to say they had a favourable opinion of their party or its frontrunner candidate, and more likely to say the tone of their party's campaign has been more negative than in past years.
Half of Democrats said they expected Hillary Clinton to be their nominee, and 46 percent of Republicans said the same of Donald Trump. Among all registered voters, asked how they would feel about each candidate if he or she became president, people were most likely to respond "excited" about Bernie Sanders and most likely to respond "scared" about Donald Trump. John Kasich received the highest percentage responses in both of the two middle categories of "optimistic" and "concerned."