When they’re not talking about impeachment, they’re speculating over who should challenge President Trump in a primary battle. To many in the bloated, liberal sector of the media, it seems to be a complete mystery why Donald Trump is still in office. Doesn’t everyone hate the guy? There can’t be more than a few personal friends and family members of his remaining who still want to see him in office, right?
So why isn’t there more of a line of serious GOP contenders forming up and preparing to remove the problem before it gets to the general election stage next year? A possible explanation (and some tough medicine for the left to swallow) might be found in a recent, massive poll conducted by Morning Consult. This jumbo survey, collecting opinions from more than 50,000 registered Republicans around the nation, reveals that primarying the President isn’t on much of anyone’s mind at the moment. In fact, the vast majority of them are okay with the job he’s doing and would like to see him have a second term. (Washington Times)
So how do Republicans feel about President Trump these days?
The answer is pretty good. No one appears particularly cranky. The sampling which follows is from a Morning Consult survey “based on 53,408 interviews with registered voters who indicate they may vote in the Republican primary or caucus in their state,” the pollster states.
Currently, 85 percent of these likely Republican voters approve of Mr. Trump, and that has inched up two percentage points in the last four weeks. Another 76 percent of the voters support Mr. Trump’s nomination, and that too has risen two percentage points in the past month. The painstaking poll also gauges support for Mr. Trump rather than another GOP candidate — this among 27 different demographics. That support ranges from a low of 62 percent among moderate Republicans to a high of 91 percent among those who are “very conservative.”
An 85% approval rating with 76% supporting the nomination for reelection is hardly a record in either party, but it’s certainly not bad. And if more than three-quarters of potential primary voters have already decided to support you, that doesn’t exactly leave a lot of wiggle room for any challenger looking to take you on. Yes, it’s true that some of that support may simply reflect the fact that there isn’t a viable declared challenger at the moment and those numbers might sag a bit if such a person emerged and declared their candidacy. But still… that’s a tough tightrope to walk. And Trump’s numbers among Republicans are going up, albeit slowly, and not in the other direction.
Jeb Bush (among others) has indicated that he’d like to see Maryland Governor Larry Hogan challenge Trump for the nomination. But as I’ve written here before, Hogan may be enjoying all the attention he receives as a potential contender, but he seems far too smart for that. He’s got a good thing going in his home state right now and doesn’t need to muck it up by jumping into that briar patch.
Who else is there? Recent polling shows that Trump would beat John Kasich by a margin of 67-14 (!) in a hypothetical primary matchup. (Even Republicans in Ohio don’t want Kasich to run.) Jeff Flake does even worse, not even cracking double digits.
For anyone still asking why there isn’t more primary activity taking place, you might need to peek out from your bubble for a moment. I have zero doubt that there are many traditional Republicans out there who aren’t wild about President Trump’s personal style or his social media habits. But they also know that regulations have been rolled back, the courts are being stocked with a generation’s worth of conservative judges, taxes and unemployment are low and wages are going up. You can put up with a lot of personal distaste for a deal like that.
And what are the alternatives? To vote for one of the Democrats, each and every one of which thus far are promising to roll back everything Trump is doing? I hardly think so. As this new polling seems to indicate, we might be in the middle of a bumpy ride at the moment, but almost nobody in GOP circles is talking about getting out of the car.