Why the "Trump gap" is growing

Re­pub­lic­an par­tis­ans and some oth­er con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing con­stitu­en­cies are demon­strably warm­ing in their at­ti­tudes to­ward the blustery busi­ness ex­ec­ut­ive. But views of Trump gen­er­ally re­main stag­nant, or are even de­teri­or­at­ing, among adults who identi­fy as Demo­crats or in­de­pend­ents. With­in that mix, the groups at the core of the co­ali­tion that powered Pres­id­ent Obama’s two vic­tor­ies ex­press es­pe­cially tox­ic opin­ions about him.

The dy­nam­ic sug­gests that more Re­pub­lic­ans are grow­ing com­fort­able with the pro­spect of Trump win­ning the party nom­in­a­tion, even as res­ist­ance to him is so­lid­i­fy­ing among the voters he would need to win the gen­er­al elec­tion.

“Re­pub­lic­ans are look­ing at him and start­ing to think, ‘Maybe I could swal­low him,’ and in­de­pend­ents are look­ing at him go­ing, ‘Oh my god, I can’t be­lieve it,’” said the poll­ster for one of Trump’s rivals for the nom­in­a­tion, who asked to re­main an­onym­ous to dis­cuss the race’s in­tern­al dy­nam­ics.