Newest Pre-Debate Poll Confirms Trump As Frontrunner, Kasich Now In Top Ten
The first of a series of polls in anticipation of next week's debate shows Donald Trump still at the top, with a surprise coming out of Ohio.
With just a week left until the first Republican Presidential debate, Donald Trump remains at the top and Ohio Governor John Kasich looks as though he’s manuevered his way onto the debate stage:
Donald Trump leads the GOP presidential field by a significant margin, according to a new Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday.
The poll also indicates that Ohio Gov. John Kasich could ride a post-announcement bump onto the stage for next week’s debate in Cleveland, despite fears that Trump’s wall-to-wall media coverage had overshadowed his late entry into the race.
Fully 20 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said they would vote for Trump if the primary were held today — the largest share any single candidate has received in Quinnipiac’s seven surveys over the past two years. That puts the brash real-estate magnate ahead of the two other candidates who earn double-digit support: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent.
It’s a four-way tie for fourth place — with pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio all at 6 percent. Kasich, at 5 percent, is tied for eighth place with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
That’s enough to vault Kasich into the top 10 in POLITICO’s analysis of the most recent live-caller polling of the GOP primary — and potentially onto the dais at the Fox News debate on Aug. 6. Kasich replaces former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who earned just 2 percent of the vote in the Quinnipiac poll and slipped to 11th in the POLITICO average.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stays at ninth in the average thanks to his 3 percent haul in Thursday’s Quinnipiac poll. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who earned 2 percent in the Quinnipiac poll, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, at 1 percent, are tied for 12th place in the POLITICO average — a full percentage point behind Kasich for the 10th-place spot.
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki also earned just 1 percent of the vote — and are all well behind in the average.
Trump’s strength in the poll comes primarily from male voters: He earns 24 percent of the vote among men. But he also leads among female voters, with 15 percent of the vote to Bush’s 12 percent and Walker’s 9 percent. (The poll was conducted July 23-28 — mostly before controversial statements by Trump’s attorney about an incident in which Trump’s ex-wife accused Trump of assaulting her, and entirely before The New York Times reported Trump had called a female attorney deposing him “disgusting” for asking to take a break so that she could use a breast pump.)
There was little ideological difference between Trump’s supporters and those of the rest of the field. He earned 23 percent of the vote among tea party supporters and 20 percent among both white evangelicals and voters who said they were “very conservative.”
This Quinnipiac poll is the first in a series of polls likely to be released between now and the Tuesday afternoon cutoff that Fox News has established for the polls it will consider in determining who gets invited to the debate next Thursday. Between now and then, we will see polls from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, Monmouth University, and most likely Fox News itself since they have not released a poll since in nearly a month now and probably want one of their to be among the five that will be considered. It’s also possible we will see polls from other companies between now and then, but it’s unclear if they will be among the five pre-debate polls used to calculate the average that Fox News will use to make its decisions. At the very least, we do know that Fox has said that it will only consider “live caller” polls, which means that any polls from companies such as Rasmussen or Public Policy Polling, both of which use robo-calls for their polling, will not be considered.
As things stand right now, though, the RealClearPolitics average is good rough guide for figuring out who will be invited, and who will be relegated to the 5pm show that Fox will air featuring the candidates who didn’t make the debate. Based on these numbers, the participants in the August 6th debate will be Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, and Jim Gilmore would all be left out. More importantly, since he is the current leader and is likely to stay in that position, Donald Trump will be the man standing at the center of the stage next Thursday night and will therefore be the one likely to get the most attention from debate moderators and from the the other candidates. How this is all turns out is anybody’s guess, but if Trump’s past media appearances over the last thirty years are any indication, it’s likely to be quite a ride.