Donald Trump will announce this week whether he will pursue the Republican presidential nomination, or whether he will host another season of The Apprentice. According to the latest survey from PPP, though, it appears that Republican voters may have already changed the channel (via OTB):
Donald Trump has had one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of Presidential politics. Last month we found him leading the Republican field with 26%. In the space of just four weeks he’s dropped all the way down to 8%, putting him in a tie for fifth place with Ron Paul.
Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are at the top of the GOP race with 19% and 18% respectively. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are further back at 13% and 12%, followed by Trump and Paul at 8%, Michele Bachmann at 7%, and Tim Pawlenty at 5%.
What happened? PPP finds that the more Republicans got to know Trump, the more they wanted to fire him. Plus, the White House release of Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate seems to have cut Trump off at the knees, a result that has to have produced a few smiles in the Oval Office:
As Trump got more and more exposure over the last month Republicans didn’t just decide they weren’t interested in having him as their nominee- they also decided they flat don’t like him. Only 34% of GOP voters now have a favorable opinion of Trump to 53% who view him in a negative light.
Trump really made hay out of the ‘birther’ issue and as the resonance of that has declined, so has his standing. In February we found that 51% of Republican primary voters thought Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Now with the release of his birth certificate only 34% of GOP partisans fall into that camp, and Trump’s only in fifth place with that now smaller group of the electorate at 9%.
PPP notes that Romney and Huckabee have begun to pull away from the rest of the pack, but I don’t see a lot of daylight in these numbers. The survey was taken before Gingrich leaked that he would announce tomorrow, and he could get a little bump from that; he gets a 54/30 approval rating in the poll, not far off from Palin’s 61/31. Only six or seven points separate the first tier from the second tier, a very small buffer indeed.
This is PPP, of course, a pollster that identifies itself as “a Democratic polling company,” but this is a survey of Republican voters alone, so sampling won’t be as much of an issue. If this is accurate, Trump would do better to invest in his television series rather than a vanity campaign for President — and he’s probably smart enough to know it.