President Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have been engaged in a battle of the candidates over how the federal government should spend $3 trillion in federal funds to stabilize the U.S. economy, according to a new poll.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 1,200 registered voters shows Trump with the lead over Cruz on how the government should distribute federal funds for the next three years, a gap that the president has used as a rallying cry in his quest to keep the U to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The survey of 3,078 voters was conducted on Dec. 18 and 19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
Cruz leads Trump by 7 percentage points in a hypothetical match-up, with the candidates tied in a head-to-head matchup, the poll found.
“Trump and Cruz are neck-and-neck in the latest WSJ/NBC poll on how much the U and the world should spend on health care for the nation’s citizens,” WSJ editor Jim Tankersley said in a statement.
“In the face of this stark choice, the GOP nominee appears poised to win the presidency with his record of cutting taxes and rolling back regulations while building an infrastructure to lift Americans out of poverty and back to work.”
The poll found Trump leading Cruz by 17 percentage points on the issue of the national debt, with 45 percent favoring Trump and 44 percent backing Cruz.
Trump also leads Cruz on whether he will be willing to spend more money to improve the nation by cutting government spending.
The poll showed the presumptive Republican nominee with an advantage of 29 points on that issue.
The Journal/Newsweek poll of 815 registered voters found that Trump leads Cruz by 23 percentage points among likely voters on whether they believe he will fight to reduce the national deficit.
Cruz led Trump by 15 points in the same question on whether the Republican nominee would be willing, under certain conditions, to slash federal spending.
“If the Trump campaign wants to win, they’ll have to explain to voters why they’re not willing to cut federal spending or slash taxes,” said Brian Walsh, a GOP pollster at Quinnipiac University.
“But they have to demonstrate a willingness to raise taxes if it means keeping government spending flat or reducing government spending if it can lower deficits.”
The Republican National Committee has yet to make a decision about how to spend $4 trillion in additional funding from the federal Treasury and other sources in 2017, according an RNC spokeswoman.
The Trump campaign has also not set a deadline to announce whether the campaign will release its tax returns.
A senior GOP operative familiar with the race said the campaign is confident in its ability to win over voters.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that Donald Trump is the best person to represent the values of the American people and our nation and his candidacy will be a resounding success in November,” the operative said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.