Trump says supporters would back independent bid

Donald Trump claimed Tuesday he would continue to succeed if he traded his Republican presidential bid for a third-party candidacy, citing a new USA Today/Suffolk University survey of his supporters.

Trump has gone back and forth on whether he'd been open to an independent bid since Republican contenders first began attacking him in late June. Until recently, months after he signed a loyalty pledge to the Republican Party, Trump promised to forego disrupting the race with a third-party run.

Now that nominating contests in early states are fast approaching and Trump again finds himself in hot water for proposing an all-out ban on Muslims seeking to enter the U.S., the candidate is back to claiming an independent bid may not lead to his political demise.

According to the poll he cites, 68 percent of Trump's current supporters would vote for him on election day if he were to run as an independent — only 18 percent say they wouldn't.

The survey, released around Tuesday afternoon, comes hours after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus denounced Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from visiting or immigrating to the U.S.

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