Donald Trump’s Poll Numbers Not As Impressive As They Seem

As Steven Taylor noted this morning, Donald Trump came in second place behind Mitt Romney in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal. However, National Review’s Jim Gerghaty looks at the numbers and points out that Trump’s numbers aren’t really all that impressive:

A big trigger of today’s Trump buzz is the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which shows Trump in second place among GOP primary voters, trailing Mitt Romney’s 21 percent with 17 percent. Among Republicans who describe themselves as supportive of the Tea Party, Trump leads with 20 percent!

But the numbers may not be as significant as they initially seem; the sample size among those two groups is significantly smaller than the 1,000 adults who make up the sample as a whole. The NBC/WSJ poll showing Trump in second place among GOP primary voters has a margin of error of 6.35 percent; among Tea Partiers, the margin of error is 8.5 percent.

I tend to agree with Steven that the numbers we’re seeing about Trump in the polls are mostly a reflection of name recognition and the celebrity factor. If he runs, which I still doubt he actually will, I don’t expect him to do well at all when it gets down to the nitty-gritty of campaigning.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. john personna says:

    Rationalization (making excuses), the process of constructing a logical justification for a decision that was originally arrived at through a different mental process

  2. legion says:

    I don’t think “impressive” is the word I’d use for Trump’s poll numbers. Laughable, depressing, indicative of a complete lack of guile and seriousness on the part of Repub voters, take your pick… but not “impressive”.

  3. sam says:

    I saw him — or heard him — on Morning Joe this AM — he is so into that birther bullshit, I can’t believe he is serious about running.

  4. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Why is it that, when there is a poll showing Sarah Palin in less than favorable positions, you quickly quote it as gospel but you question this one?

  5. jwest says:

    Trump, Palin and Romney all have the name recognition to wait until the Republican National Convention to run.

    2012 is a referendum on Obama. Let him spend money for the next year wondering who he’s going up against. The best thing the right can do is sit on the sidelines and blitz in the last 12 weeks when people pay attention.