I don’t know what’s left to say about polls like this that I haven’t already said, so follow that last link if you missed it the first time around. Today’s funsies: Trump 26, Huckabee 17, Romney 15, Gingrich 11, Palin 8.
Only 38% of Republican primary voters say they’re willing to support a candidate for President next year who firmly rejects the birther theory and those folks want Mitt Romney to be their nominee for President next year. With the other 62% of Republicans- 23% of whom say they are only willing to vote for a birther and 39% of whom are not sure- Donald Trump is cleaning up. And as a result Trump’s ridden the controversy about Barack Obama’s place of birth to the highest level of support we’ve found for anyone in our national GOP polling so far in 2011…
Among that 23% only willing to vote for a birther Trump is cleaning up even more, getting 37% to 13% for Huckabee and Palin, and 10% for Romney and Gingrich. He’s a lot weaker with the 38% who say they’re perfectly happy to vote for someone who’s dismissed the birther theory- with them Romney leads at 23%, with Huckabee at 18%, Trump at 17%, Gingrich at 10%, and Palin at only 7%.
Couple of things here. One: Take a good, hard look at this classic Gallup poll from March 2007. Remember it whenever you see any new “Trump leads” data going forward. Two: No one seriously believes that 23 percent of Republicans have a hard-and-fast “Birthers only!” rule in the primaries. As Ben Smith notes, that’s less of a serious metric than it is a case of Kos’s pollster throwing chum in the water for the nutroots. Three: The one interesting data point here is that, without Trump in the race, Huckabee, Gingrich, and Palin all gain at least four points — whereas Romney gains just one. Last week, I thought there might be some overlap in the Trump and Romney bases, but this suggests that the Donald is pulling more votes from the right than from the center. Is that a result of his Birther push or more a function of grassroots conservatives looking for an outsider because they’re tired of politics as usual?
Update: I already knew this and have linked at least one piece previously in Headlines about it, but if you missed it then, you’ll be hearing much more about it if he runs:
For a few months, Trump hashed out a policy agenda. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to fill a quickie book: The America We Deserve, published in January 2000. The Trump of 11 years ago sounds a lot like the Trump who has taken over cable TV and the Huffington Post top banner these past few weeks: He’s against immigration amnesty. He’s worried about terrorism. He’s rending his hair over America’s economic decline. Oh, and there were a few other things.
“We must have universal healthcare,” wrote Trump. “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by healthcare expenses.”
The goal of health care reform, wrote Trump, should be a system that looks a lot like Canada. “Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork,” he writes.
So there’s something else he has in common with Romney, I guess.