Sunday, July 05, 2015

Trump is a loser

James Hohmann, WashPost

Despite the hyperventilating of recent days, Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee. Period. Full stop.

The businessman is touting seven polls conducted since his announcement that show him “surging.” He was in second place nationally among Republicans in surveys from CNN (with 12 percent) and Fox News (11 percent). Quinnipiac found him tied for second place among likely Iowa caucusgoers (with 10 percent). Suffolk and WMUR each put him at second in New Hampshire, also in the double digits. The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling said he is second in Michigan and third in Kentucky.

Polling wise, Trump is this cycle’s Michele Bachmann. That’s how Washington Post polling manager Peyton M. Craighill responded when we asked what’s going on. At this time in 2011, the then-Minnesota congresswoman was pulling 17 percent, even higher than Trump. By November 2011, she was down to 4 percent. Or he might be like others who had their moment in the sun last time. Rick Perry was at 30 percent in The Post’s September 2011 poll of Republicans and had fallen to 6 percent by December. Herman Cain was at 23 percent in our November 2011 poll and out of the race a month later. Newt Gingrich peaked at 30 percent that December and saw his support cut in half a few weeks later. “History tells us this up and down pattern is not unusual,” Peyton emails.

While Trump has seen a bigger bounce than anyone else from his rollout, he also came in with higher name recognition than any of the other GOP candidates. In the Washington Post/ABC poll at the very end of May, only 11 percent of Republicans were unable to provide a rating for Trump. Compare that to 14 percent who said they did not know enough about Jeb Bush to offer an opinion. Other GOP candidates ranged from 21 percent (Huckabee) to 46 percent (Walker) unable to rate.

He’s also already toxically unpopular among the Republican rank-and-file. Trump was viewed by far more negatively than anyone else among all adults and among GOP voters in The Post’s poll. Among Republicans, he was 42 points underwater (viewed favorably by 23 percent and unfavorably by 65 percent). The same Quinnipiac poll Trump ballyhooed in his most recent press release found that 28 percent of Iowa Republicans would definitely never support him.

Other less tangible factors work against Trump too: He won’t raise significant outside money, and he’s never going to get endorsed by any serious elected official or party elite who is not on his payroll. The rank-and-file activists who are drawn to Trump love that he lacks the cautiousness of typical politicians—he tells it like they think it is—but these folks also want to win the White House after eight years in the wilderness, and they’ll recognize with each successive unforced error that Trump is unelectable. The media, especially cable, will keep covering the freak show nature of his campaign, including the continuing fallout from his breathtakingly offensive comments about Mexican immigrants. But his strength in the polls will be short lived.

(More here.)

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