Donald Trump now counts on white evangelicals as his biggest supporters

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage at a campaign rally in Claremont, New Hampshire on Jan. 5, 2016.Reuters

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump now considers white evangelical voters as his biggest supporters as shown in the latest NBC News survey.

With the presidential primaries fast approaching, NBC News/ SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll for the week of Dec. 28, 2015 through Jan. 3, 2016 showed Trump getting the support of 33 percent of white evangelical voters.

Sen. Ted Cruz was at second with 21 percent while Sen. Marco Rubio placed third at 10 percent.

Overall, Trump has 35 percent support among Republican or Republican-leaning registered voters. Cruz has 18 percent while Rubio has 13 percent.

The poll was conducted online among a national sample of 3,700 adults aged 18 and over.

Trump leads among men with 39 percent of their support, compared to 21 percent of men who support Cruz and 13 percent of men who support Rubio.

Trump also leads among women with 29 percent support, while Cruz and Rubio have about equal support from women—13 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

The respondents in the survey were asked if they would still change their minds on their choice of candidate come polling day.

Half of Trump supporters (51 percent) say they are absolutely certain they will vote for him.

Cruz and Rubio supporters, however, are not as certain that they will vote for their candidate. Just under half (49 percent) of both candidates' supporters say there is a large chance they will vote for their candidate but they are not absolutely certain.

Meanwhile in the USA Today GOP power rankings, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina tallied their worst scores this week since the news outlet started its survey last Sept. 1, asking 30 political experts who is the strongest Republican presidential candidate.

Carson remains in sixth place, just like last week, but the gap between him and Jeb Bush in fifth place has grown.

As the candidates gird for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, the GOP field appears to have split into two categories—five serious contenders and a bunch of long shots.

Aside from Trump and Cruz who continue to dominate the USA Today rankings, the other known serious contenders are Rubio, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.