Arguably Reuters’s own take on its poll, “One-in-five U.S. Republicans want Trump to drop out,” is the newsier angle on the results given that we’re in August and 19 percent of Trump’s own party want him to quit. But I’m not being sly in phrasing it the way I did in my headline. Given the amount of heavy breathing in the media lately about Trump’s dopey controversies and resulting crumble in the polls, with even formerly loyal Trump apologists like Joe Scarborough now calling on the GOP to flush him, it’s noteworthy that the great mass of Republican voters are sticking by him. If anyone’s under the foolish belief that the party’s base would greet a replacement nominee at this point with exultation, this ought to sober them up.
Missed opportunity for Reuters here, though. They should have drilled down and asked GOPers who want to keep Trump whether they feel that way because they support him on the merits, because they feel morally bound to stick with the candidate whom primary voters chose to the bitter end, or because they feel stuck with him for practical reasons at this point. Some swing voters doubtless would be reluctant this late in the game to bypass a known quantity like Clinton for the most important job in the world in order to hand it instead to Random Guy Whom We Swapped In At The Last Minute. A generic Republican would have been a major upgrade over Trump earlier in the campaign; less than 100 days from Election Day, the sheer volatility involved in introducing a new variable into the campaign might scare people off. Maybe Republicans are sensitive to that and have concluded that they’re better off not trying to change horses in midstream, even if the horse they’re riding is lame.
Note the boldface, though:
Some 19 percent think the New York real estate magnate should drop out, 70 percent think he should stay in and 10 percent say they “don’t know,” according to the Aug. 5-8 poll of 396 registered Republicans. The poll has a confidence interval of six percentage points.
Among all registered voters, some 44 percent want Trump to drop out. That is based on a survey of 1,162 registered voters, with a confidence interval of 3 percentage points. That is 9 points higher than his support for the presidency in the latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll registered on Monday…
To be sure, neither Trump nor Clinton enjoys great popularity. Some 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Clinton, who has been accused of mishandling her emails as secretary of state, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
Nearly 63 percent have an unfavorable view of Trump.
Has that ever happened before in August of a presidential year? A nominee polling nationally nearly 10 points behind the number who want him out of the race entirely? I doubt the question’s ever been asked. Until now, there was no need.
If you’re looking for more orthodox polls this morning, there’s a new one out of Kansas, which has voted Republican in every election since 1964, showing Trump up by, errrrrrrr, five points. The smallest margin of victory there for any Republican nominee over the last five elections was McCain’s, who won it by 15 points. Nationally, Bloomberg has a new survey out that puts the head-to-head race at 50/44 for Hillary. That’s not a bad margin for Trump relatively given that he’s trailed in some other recent national polls by 14-15 points. Clinton at 50 in any survey isn’t good for the GOP, but she’s leading just 44/40 in the four-way contest, which is the relevant contest (for now). I’ll leave you with this interesting tidbit from the Bloomberg crosstabs:
Democrats are marginally more likely to support flipping their ticket upside-down than Republicans are theirs, even though Clinton is more solid in this poll among Democrats than Trump is among Republicans. Huh. More evidence of GOPers sticking by their nominee, though.