Donald Trump Leads In New National Poll
The GOP's Trump-induced headache isn't going away any time soon.
While media outlets continue to report on the ongoing fallout from his controversial remarks about immigrants, and Republicans fret about the impact he having on the party and what his presence will do to the upcoming debate, Donald Trump comes out on top in a new national poll:
Media coverage of Donald Trump’s controverisal immigration remarks have lifted the GOP presidential candidate to the top of the Republican field, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll.
Trump was the preferred GOP nominee for president for 15 percent of respondents — 4 points ahead of former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), who were tied for second place.
Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) shared the third spot with 9 percent each.
In addition to being the first choice for the majority of likely voters who participated in the poll, Trump was also the primary second choice for those who preferred another candidate as their nominee.
12 percent of respondents said Trump was second in line for their vote, while only 7 percent picked either Bush or Paul as their safety candidate.
While Trump may be on top this week, registered Republican voters gave him a very weak chance of holding on to that spot in the long run.
The vast majority of respondents — 29 percent — said they believed Jeb Bush would ultimately claim the GOP presidential nomination. Only 7 percent said the same about Trump.
It’s worth noting that the YouGov is slightly different from most other traditional polling in that it relies upon a pre-selected panel of registered voters and is conducted online rather than over the phone or in person. In the past, some analysts have questioned the polls reliability because of this, and it’s worth keeping this in mind when looking at one of the polls from this company. At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that in post-election analysis of pollster performance in both 2012 and 2014, YouGov was ranked roughly in the middle of the pack among the two dozen or so national polling companies that were evaluated. Not among the best of the pollsters, but they weren’t ranked among the worst either and they did better at predicting the outcome of those elections than some traditional pollsters who have been around much longer. Additionally, it’s worth noting that YouGov has traditionally not been included among the polls that RealClearPolitics uses to calculate its polling averages, and the most recent national poll before today had Trump in second place some seven points behind Jeb Bush. Notwithstanding all of that, though, these numbers are generally consistent with other polling that has shown Trump rising to or near the top of the crowded Republican field, including a new Public Policy Polling survey out of North Carolina that shows Trump leading the field with 16% of the vote , Jeb Bush and Scott Walker at 12%, Mike Huckabee at 10%, and all of the other candidates in single digits. Given that, it’s not entirely inconceivable to see a poll that shows Trump at the top of a very crowded field, especially since the size of the field right now means that it doesn’t take much of a candidate to be at the top.
All of this news comes amid continuing reports about Republican unease with Trump and the impact that his rhetoric is having on the Presidential race during this relatively quiet period in the news cycle and the impact it having on the party as a whole. Last night, for example, The Washington Post reported that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had talked to Trump for nearly an hour yesterday after being urged for days by top GOP donors to do something about the rhetoric that was coming from Trump Tower in Manhattan. The report went on to note, based on sources, that Priebus urged Trump to tone down his rhetoric because of the impact it could have on the efforts of others in the party to reach out to Latino voters. Trump responded this morning by saying he had only had a short conversation with Priebus and that the Chairman had never asked him tone down his rhetoric, then he told The Washington Post that he wasn’t going to rule out the idea of running as a third-party candidate if he failed to win the Republican nomination. In other words, the Trump headache for the GOP is just beginning, and it’s probably going to get a lot worse.