Donald Trump hinted Sunday that even if he fails to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, he likely won't run as a third-party candidate.

Once considered a long-shot candidate, the real estate mogul has risen in early primary polls. Many Republicans have voiced their concerns that if he doesn't win the GOP nomination, he might run as an independent — something he hadn't yet ruled out.

However in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper broadcast Sunday, Trump said running as a third-party presidential candidate only benefits the Democrats.

"Everybody asks me to do it. ... And I think ... I'd get a lot of votes," he said. "But the best way of defeating the Democrats, and probably Hillary — I think it's going to be Hillary — is to run as a Republican."

"If I do the third party thing it would be I think very bad for the Republicans," Trump added. "I think it would be very bad in terms of beating the Democrats. And we have to win."

A recent Reuters-Ipsos poll shows Trump gaining momentum among Republican primary voters: He is currently atop the GOP field along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. His surge comes despite controversy surrounding his campaign after he made comments saying most Mexican immigrants and criminals and rapists.

But Donald Trump is here to stay, he has continued to say, and he might consider a vice presidential slot because it's "a phenomenal position, and I think it's a very powerful position."

For now, though, Trump loves what he's doing and he "would rather be doing this," he told Cooper.