Donald Trump leads GOP race but is the weakest bet when pitted vs. Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump's edge ‘is one more sign that his harsh rhetoric about immigration and toward his rivals has struck a chord with some voters,’ according to USA Today.Reuters

A new national poll showed real estate mogul Donald Trump leading a crowded race of 17 candidates for the Republican Party's 2016 presidential nomination.

At the same time, the Suffolk University/USA Today poll, which released the result of its survey on Tuesday, also found that Trump is the weakest competitor among the Top 7 Republican presidential candidates when pitted against Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

USA Today reported that Trump received 17 percent support from Republican primary voters, overtaking former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who placed second at 14 percent.

"Trump's edge, which is within the poll's margin of error, is one more sign that his harsh rhetoric about immigration and toward his rivals has struck a chord with some voters," USA Today said.

The Suffolk University/USA Today survey comes a week after YouGov/Economist said Trump was the preferred GOP presidential nominee of 15 percent of their survey's respondents, four points ahead of Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

In a statement, Suffolk University's Political Research Center Director David Paleologos said the billionaire is making daily headlines in advance of the primary season.

"This has vaulted him to the top of the pack on the backs of conservative voters," Paleologos said in a statement that accompanied the poll results, according to the New York Times.

But Paleologos questioned for how long can Trump stay on the top, citing a national poll in 2012 that had Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain as frontrunners of the GOP primary only to fade away into oblivion.

In fact, Trump did not do well when he only received 13 percent support of GOP primary voters who preferred him as their second choices compared to Bush's 14 percent.

Trump also fared the worst in seven Republican presidential candidates, lagging four points nationwide after being put head-to-head against Hillary Clinton.

The rest of the 2016 field remained in single digit measurement of popular support with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 8 percent; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 6 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 5 percent; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 4 percent; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3 percent.