Donald Trump gets a post-announcement bump in YouGov's latest poll, despite continued unpopularity with many Republicans and lingering doubts about his presidential qualifications
The latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds seven Republican candidates – all but one of them officially announced – close together at the top of the list when it comes to the nomination preference of Republicans. One of those seven is New York businessman Donald Trump.
But does this make Trump a viable contender for Republicans? Maybe not. The poll also finds many Republicans questioning Trump’s qualifications and electability – an unusual situation when Republicans look at their large field of candidates.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is most often seen as the likely winner of the 2016 GOP nomination.
Most of the GOP candidates are viewed favorably by Republicans – even if that is not the case among the public at large (there are more in the overall public holding unfavorable than favorable views of all of the Republican contenders – as well as all the Democratic ones, too). Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who just announced his candidacy, also has a favorable balance with Republicans. 39% of Republicans in this poll are favorable, with 23% unfavorable.
Among Republicans, however, two candidates are viewed negatively: Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Trump actually has gained in favorable assessments in the week since he announced his candidacy. But just as many Republicans this week as last are unfavorable towards him. Back in May, 2013, in a non-campaign context, Trump received very favorable ratings from Republicans in a YouGov poll. 68% then were favorable, and only 25% were not. However, in that poll, Trump was evaluated along with other businessmen, including large campaign donors. There were no other candidates in the list.
While they may not like Christie now, Republicans have seen Christie as qualified to fill the position of President. That isn’t true when it comes to Trump. Half of Republicans say Trump is not qualified; half do not have confidence in Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis.
Trump does get high marks from Republicans when it comes to being thought of as a strong leader: 69% of Republicans say he is that, with less than a third of Republicans disagreeing.
But leadership is not necessarily what Republicans think of when asked about Trump. Republicans think first of Trump’s personality and his money. “Strong” hardly appears, though several negative words that may be related to a perception of strength do.
Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here.