— -- Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said he “expected to win” the Republican nomination during an interview with ABC News' Jonathan Karl.
“Otherwise we wouldn't be running," Trump said, adding, "I like to win."
Trump acknowledged that when he first entered the presidential race, he didn't expect to sustain such a large lead over his rivals.
"It's a very, very big lead, so I didn't think that we would have that," he said.
Since his campaign launch on June 16, Trump has dominated the news cycle and maintained his lead nationally over his Republican rivals.
Trump has been targeted by both Republican and Democratic presidential contenders. During the third Democratic debate, he was the only Republican candidate mentioned by name. Trump dismissed challenges from Hillary Clinton.
“I am winning. I am beating everybody and, in my opinion, beating Hillary is easier than beating these people,” he said, referring to his Republican primary opponents.
Even though Trump sits at the top of a national Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, at 28 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is now steadily gaining on the real estate mogul, polling in second place with 24 percent.
Karl asked Trump about Cruz, and why he has given the Texas senator a pass by not strongly attacking his closest opponent in the polls.
“He is a very nice guy, he has been very respectful,” Trump said.