Although it's not clear why, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has opened up a huge 14-point lead in the latest national poll of GOP voters released Monday. The Monmouth University survey also indicated that Gov. Chris Christie is likely to be in the top 10 which would enable him to participate in Thursday night's prime time debate.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie greets guests during a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 12, 2015. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The top 10 Republicans in the poll were:

  • Donald Trump (26 percent);
  • Jeb Bush (12 percent);
  • Scott Walker (11 percent);
  • Ted Cruz (6 percent);
  • Ben Carson (5 percent);
  • Chris Christie (4 percent);
  • Rand Paul (4 percent);
  • Marco Rubio (4 percent); and
  • John Kasich (3 percent)

"We're looking at who is supporting Donald Trump and there's no easy way to figure this out. He has support across the ideological spectrum," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. "He's winning very conservative voters, somewhat conservative voters, moderates and liberals. He's doing slightly better among Tea Party supporters and men, but he's also winning non-Tea Party supporters and he's also winning women."

There is no clear sense of who Trump's constituency really is, Murray said. He said it is possible voters want a real political outsider.

"It seems to be that folks feel that the people who are political lifers and working in government don't know how to do the job so we might as well give it to somebody who has no experience whatsoever," he said.

Compared to Monmouth University's last national survey released in July, Trump's support has grown by 13 percent while Bush's has declined by three percent. Support for Christie doubled from two percent in July to four percent in the new poll.

"Gov. Chris Christie is now tied for seventh place at four percent. It looks like from all the polls that have been coming out over the past couple of days that Chris Christie is definitely in the top 10 debate that will happen on Thursday," Murray said.

The poll revealed the majority of Republican voters were not thrilled with the split debate scenario. The top 10 candidates in the field, based on a national polling average, will make it into the first sanctioned GOP debate Thursday.

Almost half (45 percent) of respondents would rather have two back-to-back debates with the field randomly split in half. Twenty-nine percent said they would prefer to put all the declared candidates together on one stage. Less than a quarter (23 percent) liked the idea of using polls to determine a top 10 for the main debate while having the remaining candidates participate in a separate, earlier debate.

The poll was conducted by telephone from July 30 - Aug. 2, 2015 with 1,203 adults nationally. The figures in the survey are based on a sample of 423 registered voters who identified themselves as Republicans or leaning toward the Republican Party. The margin of error is +4.8 percent.