More than half of Republican voters believe the GOP is best off choosing Donald Trump as its 2016 presidential nominee if he arrives at the convention with the most delegates, according to a new poll.
In the latest Monmouth University national poll of Republican voters, 54 percent say their party should nominate the current GOP front-runner if he continues to lead the delegate count come July. Another 34 percent would prefer a contested convention in which someone other than Trump emerges as the nominee.
Of the voters who oppose Trump's candidacy, 55 percent want someone other than the billionaire nominated at the convention, while 31 percent of that group still believe the party should nominate Trump if he has the highest delegate count.
The candidate most Trump opponents want as their nominee is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Thirty-three percent of voters in favor of a contested convention would like Cruz to be the GOP nominee, 23 percent would like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and 10 percent want Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Slightly more GOP voters would want former Republican nominee Mitt Romney to again represent the party in the general election than would former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Should the Republican National Convention include multiple rounds of voting on the convention floor and lead someone other than Trump to secure the nomination, a combined 47 percent of Trump supporters would either vote for a third-party candidate or likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, or not vote at all in November.
Only 43 percent said they would commit to backing another candidate as the GOP nominee in the general election.
"A majority of non-Trump supporters seem to be in favor of a brokered convention process at this point in the campaign," Monmouth University polling director Patrick Murray said in a statement. "That would probably throw the party into turmoil, with many Trump supporters abandoning the party."
The same survey shows Trump holding a steady lead nationally over his remaining two opponents. The real estate mogul, who won the Arizona primary Tuesday night but lost to Cruz in Utah, draws 41 percent support among Republican voters. Cruz draws 29 percent — double what it was last December — and Kasich draws 18 percent support.
The survey of 1,008 voters, including 353 registered Republicans, was conducted March 17-20. Results contain an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.