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Despite stumbles, Trump has big lead in NY: Poll

Donald Trump's political stumbles haven't eroded his commanding lead in next week's delegate-rich New York primary, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

The poll shows the billionaire developer leading with 54 percent support among likely Republican primary voters, more than doubling the 21 percent supporting his closest challenger, Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the closest rival to Trump in the national delegate race, draws just 18 percent.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump
Chris Keane | TPX | Reuters
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

The results cast doubt on the idea that Trump's defeat in Wisconsin last week and series of recent miscues foreshadow declining support in his quest to secure the 1,237 delegates he needs for a first-ballot nomination at the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer. Even if he falls short of that number, 64 percent of fellow New Yorkers say Trump should be nominated if he enters the convention with more delegates than anyone else.

Trump's robust showing augurs well for his chance on April 19 to grab the lion's share of New York's 95 delegates — the second-biggest prize so far in the primary season after Florida. Polls have also shown Trump with double-digit leads in Pennsylvania and Maryland, the two biggest states with primaries on April 26.

In the Democratic primary race, the NBC/Marist Poll shows that Brooklyn, New York-born Bernie Sanders, who represents Vermont in the Senate, has been unable to overcome Hillary Clinton's lead in the home state she adopted and won two Senate elections in. The former secretary of state and first lady leads Sanders by 55 percent to 41 percent among likely Democratic primary voters — well short of the kind of lopsided wins he needs to overcome her significant lead in delegates.

The NBC-Marist poll of 259 likely Republican voters carries an error margin of 6.1 percentage points; the survey of 557 likely Democratic voters carries an error margin of 4.2 percentage points. The polls were conducted April 6-10.