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Poll: Trump Maintains Commanding Lead Over Republican Rivals

FILE - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a forum in Aiken, S.C., Dec. 12, 2015.

American billionaire Donald Trump is heading into 2016 with a commanding lead over the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls.

The latest CNN/ORC national poll out Wednesday showed Trump with a 21-percentage-point lead over his nearest rival. Trump polled at 39 percent, which represented a 3-point jump for the real estate magnate since the last poll was taken at the end of November.

He was followed by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas with 18 percent, which was up 2 percentage points from his previous position.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson both slipped slightly, sitting at 10 percent each, while New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came in fifth at 5 percent. None of the other eight Republican candidates was above 4 percent.

Trump celebrated Wednesday, firing off a series of tweets expressing his glee. “Thank you America! Together -- we will #MakeAmericaGreatAgain!” one tweet read.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted December 17-21 among a random national sample of 1,018 adults. Results for the full sample had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.