The Middle East Forum sent out a questionnaire under my name on April 5 to its mailing lists asking a single question: “How do you see Donald Trump as the Republican party’s presidential candidate?” We then offered four replies:
‐ #MakeAmericaGreatAgain — Trump, with enthusiasm
‐ #BetterTrumpThanHillary — Trump, but not happy about it
‐ #NeverTrump — Anyone but Donald Trump
‐ No opinion
We let the straw poll run for five days and received 3,637 replies. Of these, 23 percent express enthusiasm for Trump, 42 percent unhappily prefer him to Hillary, and 32 percent say no, never.
Some observations about these results:
1. From a macro point of view, this is a rough split into thirds, pointing to the supreme divisiveness of Trump’s candidacy.
2. The one-fifth for Trump roughly equals the national average, where he gets about two-fifths of the Republican vote and close to zero of the Democratic one.
3. Nearly two-thirds of our audience would vote for Trump in the general election, a much larger number than expected and completely out of line with national polling. This points to vehement anti-Hillary sentiments among Middle East Forum readers.
4. Assuming that our readership is more engaged with Middle Eastern and Islamic issues, this discrepancy from national polls suggests that citizens focused on such issues as Israel, Iran, Islamism, and the price of energy mistrust the former secretary of state far more than does the electorate as a whole.