2016: The GOP’s Four Faces

Politics & Policy

Deconstructing the Donald, Week Two

Donald Trump’s support has declined nationally since my last post about ten days ago.  Since then (September 28), four national polls and thirteen (!) new state polls have been released.  As the tables below show, Trump’s national average has dropped five points from 24 percent to 19 percent.  Moreover, only one of the four polls released recently has him above the 24 percent average he carried into October.

The state poll average, though, shows him roughly unchanged from his late September national average.  The state poll average shows him at 23.2 percent, only slightly below his prior national mark. 

One should not simply compare the state average to the national one.  The state average includes only about 30 percent of the country, so it could easily be the case that it is not fully representative.  And it indeed is not — of the ten states polled (three were polled twice), six are in the South and two of the others are Iowa and New Hampshire, where one would expect voters to have firmer opinions about the race.

Very few polls asked about his favorable-unfavorable ratios.  Those that did found his ratio essentially unchanged at roughly 5-4 favorable to unfavorable.

Trump’s demographic breakdowns regarding his support remain the same.  He does better among men and moderates, worse among women and conservatives.  He is most popular, however, among Tea Partiers and very-conservative voters and least popular among moderates, the same pattern we saw previously.  Moderates either love him or hate him:  There’s not much in between.

Finally, the NBC/WSJ national poll asked Republican primary voters which candidates they “could not see themselves supporting.” Fifty-two percent said they could not see themselves backing Trump, the most of any major candidate.  Only Paul, Santorum, Graham, and Pataki had a higher percentage of Republican primary voters say they could not see themselves supporting them.

Henry OlsenMr. Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an editor at UnHerd.com, and the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.

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