Poll finds Donald Trump at highest level of support in North Carolina yet

In this Sept. 25, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during the Values Voter Summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

A new North Carolina poll released by Public Policy Polling finds Donald Trump at his highest level of support in the state yet.

Despite heavy criticism on Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, the liberal-leaning polling agency says Trump's "Islamophobia" is actually the central feature of his appeal to his supporters.

RELATED: Trump stands by barring Muslims despite bipartisan criticism

According to the latest poll amongst Republican candidates, Trump is at 33 percent to 16 percent for Ted Cruz, 14 percent each for Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, 5 percent for Jeb Bush, 4 percent for Chris Christie, 3 percent for John Kasich, 2 percent each for Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul, 1 percent each for Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum, and less than 1 percent each for Jim Gilmore and George Pataki.

That is up from PPP's poll in October, when Trump was ahead of his other Republican rivals with 31 percent to Ben Carson's 23 percent.

According to PPP, when Trump led in their July North Carolina poll it was the first poll to find him leading the GOP pack anywhere in the country.

Since then, he's increased his support in every PPP poll - from 16 percent in July, to 24 percent in August, 26 percent in September, 31 percent in October, and now a 33 percent standing in September.

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RELATED: Poll shows Trump tops GOP pack in North Carolina

Trump is also broadly popular with Republicans in the Tar Heel state - his 63/26 favorability rating puts him behind only Carson (64/23).

The PPP poll comes as Trump's call to temporarily block Muslims from entering the United States drew swift rebukes Tuesday from many, including international leaders and the world's Muslim population alike.

RELATED: World leaders pile on Trump for plan to bar Muslims

According to PPP, 67 percent of his voters support a national database of Muslims in the United States, to only 14 percent opposed to it.

The poll also revealed 62 percent believe his claims that thousands of Arabs cheered in New Jersey when the World Trade Center collapsed, to only 15 percent who don't believe that.

The survey showed 51 percent want to see the Mosques in the country shut down, to only 16 percent against that.

It also revealed only 24 percent of Trump supporters in the state even think Islam should be legal at all in the United States, to 44 percent who think it shouldn't be.

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