NEW YORK, Dec 24 (APP): A new poll shows prominent American businessman Donald Trump leads the Republican field with 39 percent support in a new poll, 21 points ahead of the next candidate in the race, Senator Ted Cruz, at 18 percent.

Trump’s lead is up three points since Dec. 1, and Cruz’s numbers show a two percentage point bump up, too.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Senator Marco Rubio are tied in the still crowded Republican field with 10 percent support in the poll, conducted by CNN/ORC and released Wednesday.

Carson dropped four points since Dec. 1 in this poll, and Rubio also lost 2 points.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie saw a slight rise of one point—he’s now at five percent in the poll.

The CNN/ORC poll was taken after the Republican debate last week, hosted by CNN and Facebook. Among Republicans who watched, 33 percent thought Trump did best, followed by Cruz at 28 percent, then Rubio with 13 percent.

Fifty-seven percent of Republicans surveyed feel that Trump is best equipped to handle the economy. All other Republican competitors are in single digits.

A substantial plurality also feel that he would most ably handle the threat posed by ISIS, and 55 percent trust him to handle immigration.

Forty-six percent of Republican voters think that Republicans are most likely to win the election with Trump at the top of the ticket, compared with 50 percent who think the chances would be better with another candidate.

Ted Cruz has seen a big jump in his favourability, according to this poll. It’s up 22 points since September, at 45 percent, the highest favourability rating of any of the Republican candidates. More Republican voters (62 percent) also think Cruz has the right experience to be president, compared with Trump, at 57 percent.

Trump has improved his standing with Republican college graduates in this poll.

Twenty-seven percent of Republican voters support Trump, up nine points since late November. His support among non-college graduates remains the same, at 46 percent.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone December 17-21 among a random national sample of 1,018 adults.

Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

For results among the 438 registered voters who are Republicans or independents who lean toward the Republican Party, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Trump on Wednesday said Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner,  should be careful about playing the war on women card in the presidential race.

The Hillary Clinton staged event yesterday was pathetic, Trump said in a tweet, referring to a Mrs. Clinton rally Tuesday in Keota, Iowa, where a young girl who said she had asthma asked how to deal with bullies.

Mrs.  Clinton told the girl she’d had a lot of terrible things said about her, and later added that the country shouldn’t let anybody bully his way into the presidency,” apparently referring to Trump.

Be careful, Hillary, as you play the war on women or women being degraded card, the real estate mogul added in the tweet.

Trumps warning comes after he stirred controversy by saying Clinton got schlonged by then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary race.

The Republican presidential front-runner has been accused of misogyny for using the Yiddish term.

Trump said the term is not vulgar, citing a National Public Radio report in 2011 that used the term to describe Walter Mondales defeat in the 1984 presidential campaign.

He also said it was too disgusting to see Clinton walking back on stage from a bathroom break at Saturdays Democratic primary debate.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Clintons communications director urged people to condemn Trumps degrading language.

The billionaire businessman was previously accused of making a sexist remark about Fox News host Ms. Megyn Kelly, when he said she had blood coming out of her whatever after the first Republican debate.