APTOPIX GOP 2016 Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Tuesday during a campaign event at the University of Iowa Field House.

PAUL SANCYA — Associated Press

Despite Gov. Scott Walker's repeated pleas for the Republican Party to stop enabling the ascent of the party's presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump leads in support from Republican voters in Wisconsin. 

Not only do 24 percent of Republican voters in Wisconsin support Trump for president, 49 percent expect him to be the party's nominee regardless of who they support. 

The next most popular candidate among Wisconsin Republicans is Marco Rubio, who earned 18 percent of support in the Marquette University Law School poll released Thursday. Trailing Rubio was Ted Cruz with 16 percent.

But just 10 percent of GOP voters expect Rubio to be the eventual nominee, while 20 percent think it will be Cruz.

In a match-up with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Clinton beats Trump 47-38 percent. The margin widens if Bernie Sanders is the candidate, with Sander beating Trump 52-34.

Clinton and Sanders are neck-and-neck for support among Wisconsin Democrats: Clinton earns 45 percent of voters' support while Sanders gets 43 percent. 

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But 65 percent of Democrats expect Clinton will be their party's nominee, while just 27 percent believe it will be Sanders.

After exiting the presidential race in September, Walker called several times for the remaining Republican candidates to clear the field for a positive alternative to Trump.

"That’s a long ways off. Votes aren’t going to be cast until the beginning of February," Walker said. "There’s a lot in between now and then. And so if someone’s the nominee, we’ll actually have to assess it at that time."

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.