Trump leads the GOP pack this week, though few think he will win the nomination
The Republican horserace continues to be a contest of multiple candidates – with frontrunners sometimes ahead by only a few points, and no one dominating the race. In this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, businessman Donald Trump leads among Republicans, ahead of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Trump looks even better as a candidate this week when Republicans are asked for their second choice. When they are, Trump extends his lead. One in four Republicans who are registered to vote say he is their first or second choice.
But who are these Republicans? Trump’s statements on immigration may be striking a chord. Two-thirds of those who choose Trump first or second support the goals of the Tea Party, higher than the overall percentage of Republicans who do. They are much less likely to have a college education than are other Republicans, and they are more likely than other Republicans to say they are “very” conservative.
Trump supporters may be making more of a statement than voting for someone they consider a contender. Just one in five of Trump’s supporters think Trump will win the nomination. Only 7% of Republicans think Trump will capture the nomination: more give the edge to Bush, Paul, Rubio and Walker.
Trump also may have a problem mobilizing the rest of his party. While one in four Republicans make him their first or second choice this week, more than four in ten Republicans don’t like him.
This is a slight improvement for Trump compared to his ratings in some previous weeks, when there have been more Republicans who had an unfavorable than a favorable opinion of Trump. And when they were asked to give a one-word description of Trump, Republicans more often cited negative than positive assessments.
Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here.