The most amazing data point in this poll? He was near 30 percent when they first started polling on Thursday — and then dropped off the table after his comments about McCain as a prisoner of war. Hmmmm.
I’ve been through enough online episodes of “criticizing Republican X makes you a RINO” to enjoy this one before it inevitably fades this fall. May President Trump reign for a thousand years, and may all the no-class RINO establishmentarians with their loser net worth in the low seven figures weep at his feet.
His views on immigration are not widely shared. Just 16 percent of Americans say that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are mainly “undesirable people like criminals,” while 74 percent say they are mainly “honest people trying to get ahead.”
Even in the Republican Party, Trump’s characterizations reflect a minority view. Among Republicans, 66 percent say undocumented immigrants from Mexico are mainly honest, while 19 percent say they are mainly undesirable.
There is clear resistance to his candidacy within the party. A majority (54 percent) say his views do not reflect the core values of the Republican Party.
If Trump were to receive the GOP nomination, 62 percent of Americans say they definitely would not consider voting for him.
Those don’t seem like the numbers of a guy who’s built to last as frontrunner, but they’re good enough to lead this very divided field. An interesting detail: Trump does better with Republican moderates (25 percent) than he does with “very conservative” voters (17 percent, versus 25 percent for Scott Walker). That suggests that name recognition is still driving a lot of Trumpmania. On the other hand, Trump zooms all the way up to 38 percent among Republicans who say that immigrants weaken the country on balance. Among those who say immigrants tend to strengthen the country, he falls to 12 percent. I wonder what the overlap is between those two groups of core Trump support. Maybe “moderates” in this case includes a lot of Republicans who follow politics casually most of the time (casually enough to choose “moderate” when asked to label themselves), without much knowledge of the rest of the field or of Trump’s history of more Democratic positions, who are responding to all the media coverage generally and to Trump’s immigration rhetoric specifically. They know him, they like what they’ve heard so far on crime committed by illegals, and that’s good enough to say “Trump” when a pollster asks you who you like. (Or maybe moderates like Trump because they do know his center-left history.) That would also explain why “very conservative” Republicans, despite their reputation for being border hawks, prefer Walker. They’re more ideological so they’re paying closer attention to the race and to the candidates’ various records. When asked to choose between Walker and Trump, the two biggest border hawks in the field right now, they’ll take the guy with a long conservative record over the guy with a short one.
Here’s a nice data point too. Sweet dreams:
I don’t care about a dynasty election between Hillary and Jeb so that result is academic to me, but if you’re ready to arm up for Team GOP, you’ve got potentially a big problem on your hands. Trump wouldn’t hold that 20 percent in a general election, but he wouldn’t need to in order to tilt the election to his pal Hillary. Even two or three percent could be enough, and given the media’s insatiable appetite for all things Trump, he’d be guaranteed lots of coverage next year despite his dwindling vote share. Essentially, whether the GOP has any chance of retaking the White House next year depends entirely on Donald Trump’s willingness to spend, say, $50 million promoting himself as a third-party candidate. Democratic victory is within his power to assure.
Trump, by the way, also now leads the field by two points in RCP’s average of national polls. That margin is greater than Bobby Jindal’s overall average support, at 1.6 percent. Exit question: What are we to make of the state of conservatism versus “Trump-ism” given that Trump has six times the share of the vote in today’s poll that longtime Texas governor, military veteran, and solid conservative Rick Perry has?
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) July 20, 2015