Tuesday, March 29, 2016 07:16 AM
By: Sandy Fitzgerald

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump holds support of just below 50 percent of registered Republicans and at people who lean Republican, according to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey Weekly Election Tracking poll released on Tuesday.

By the numbers:

Trump, 48 percent;
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 27 percent;
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 18 percent.

Trump's focus now, though, is on securing the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP presidential nomination, and while he will likely hold the most delegates heading into the convention, of all Republicans who agree he should become the party's nominee if he does not reach the cutoff number, the poll found:

57 percent say Trump should win with a plurality;
27 percent disagree;
14 percent are unsure.

And among people who support someone other than Trump:
53 percent said he needs a majority;
32 percent of Cruz supporters say Trump should only need a plurality;
24 percent of Kasich supporters say Trump should win with a plurality.

Most people surveyed would be satisfied seeing Trump square off with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in November:

52 percent agree;
30 percent said they'd consider a third-party candidate.

The poll was conducted online between March 21-27 with a national sample of 6,521 adults, including 5,741 who said they are registered voters, and carried a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.