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.

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

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.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    It’s only appropriate that the most clownish member is in the drivers seat of the Republican clown bus, and it at this point it is a bus not a car. He speaks to the lowest common denominator of the the American electorate which is the the Republican base.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I think if I were Kasich I would studiously ignore Trump and attack Jeb and perhaps Walker, but only obliquely, while repeatedly reminding voters that he ran Ohio and did not entirely screw up the job.

  3. Modulo Myself says:

    Given that Kasich thought Fargo so horrifying he wanted Blockbuster to pull it from the shelves and The Roots so obscene he flung the CD (!) from his, I’m curious exactly how he’s going to come off against Rubio, who has, allegedly, enjoyed hip-hop. Being way out of touch is different than not being into Chief Keef. The GOP spends a lot of time making their candidates appear current. Maybe they can do that with Kasich, or maybe he becomes a running old-man joke.

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Someone has to say something to Trump. It’s quite possible that they are all terrified of saying the wrong thing. Trump might just call them on that. “They all hate me but they’re terrified to say it because they’re losers,” is why Hillary Clinton hired him.

  5. Moosebreath says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    If I had to bet who will be the deisgnated Trump-basher, it’s Christie. He has nothing to lose, as he is going nowhere, and figures he may earn brownie points for a future cabinet post. Also, he is the only one who can project the same image to avoid being intimidated by Trump.

  6. It is going to be impossible for these candidate to ignore Donald Trump.

  7. Franklin says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Given that Kasich thought Fargo so horrifying he wanted Blockbuster to pull it from the shelves and The Roots so obscene he flung the CD (!) from his

    If this is the worst thing anybody can come up with against Kasich, then I’m going to have to start worrying about him.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Franklin: Kasich is a founder of ALEC. He’s a union busting, public school destroying, vote suppressing, bigoted holy roller. He’s a front for corporate oligarchy. Think Scott Walker, but smarter. So there’s a lot bad to say about him. But in a Republican primary it all counts as positives, except the smarter thing.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    An interesting analysis of the dilemma Trump poses, followed by an equally interesting critique of it:

    “So Barnes seems to be saying that if Republicans are nice to Trump, he’ll have no reason to bolt: “Calling on Trump to drop out of the race, or insisting he is unqualified to be president because of his harsh language zinging John McCain and immigrants from Mexico, isn’t working and probably never will….Republicans need to think about who backs Trump at the moment. It’s a big chunk of the GOP base, at least the anti-immigrant wing. If Republicans lose these folks next year (because Trump is on the ballot as a third candidate), they’re doomed.”

    In the end, Barnes concludes: “So Republicans have a difficult task. They must deal wisely with Trump with an overriding goal of keeping him from becoming a third party or independent candidate next year.”

    Problem is, Barnes never really defines the word wisely. Is he saying that Trump’s 15 Republican rivals – woops, make it 16 rivals – should simply stay mum and let Trump wreck the party brand, all because they shouldn’t risk ticking him off? Is that really so wise, given the fact that silence makes them look like complicit wimps?”

  10. Modulo Myself says:

    @Franklin:

    Seriously? Clinton’s a way out-of-touch candidate, but the Democrats don’t have a huge inferiority complex about that. Whatever mud comes her way is going to be laughed about.

    Not so with Kasich. I honestly can’t imagine how any of the GOP candidates will respond to outside criticism. The resentment and sense of persecution is so intense that it’s going to be a ridicule fest no matter who runs. But Kasich doesn’t seem like a guy who is going to handle mockery of his image.

  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Moosebreath: Your theory is fine except that if Trump can “wreck” the party brand by being overtly in support of what the party stands for, what does that say about “the brand” in the first place?

  12. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “Kasich is a founder of ALEC. He’s a union busting, public school destroying, vote suppressing, bigoted holy roller. He’s a front for corporate oligarchy. ”

    Yes, but while he governs from the far right, he recites mush-mouthed platitudes about “working together” and “bipartisanship,” so the Broderesque pundit class loves him.

  13. Franklin says:

    @Modulo Myself: No offense, I’m just saying that gVOR08’s list is more pertinent than an overreaction to a gory scene in a movie. And whatever The Roots sing about.

    /For the record, I’m not impressed by the overuse of gory scenes either, but in the case of Fargo, it was good regardless.

  14. Tony W says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It is going to be impossible for these candidate to ignore Donald Trump.

    There actually might be a solid ‘belligerent-style’ debate strategy there that one of the also-rans could use to their benefit.

    Imagine a candidate who simply refuses to acknowledge that anything Mr. Trump says is even worthy of a response. It’s a “Huffington Post-style” of debate, effectively relegating him to the entertainment page. By simply waving him off as irrelevant and moving forward with a Kasich-style conservatism, the Republicans might be able to rid themselves of the problem.

    I’m not saying it is a logically-valid approach, and it certainly does not elevate the person doing it above Trump’s level – but it might play just fine to the non-crazy section of the base that is clearly resistant to a Trump candidacy (~80% supporting somebody else).

    As a bonus the idea has the added benefit of infuriating a man who lives for the spotlight, by actively ignoring him. Irrelevance is his Achilles Heel – might be time to whip that tool out of the toolbox

  15. Modulo Myself says:

    @Franklin:

    gVOR08’s list shows how terribly unpopular Kasich’s positions are going to be. A dour Christian unable to handle modern culture is not going to turn them around.

    We need to keep in mind that George Bush has been the only Republican since the Cold War ended to win an election, and he got in via a toss-up in the EC and a loss in the popular vote. Bush was also a rare combination of talents. I loathed him on principle and in the flesh and yet his story was, for who he was, approachable. A rich kid who failed to live up to his Dad’s expectations, he burned through drinking and some coke until he turned his life around. His policies were terrible but at times in 2000 he came off as genuinely empathetic and humbled by whatever it was that had happened to him. The GOP has nobody capable of doing this and the policies are even worse.

  16. Grewgills says:

    @alltheclownbuspeople
    This is a clown compact car and it comfortably holds 12. At most we are looking at a clown sedan. It would make my year if all of the candidates piled out of one car, or even bus, onto the debate stage though.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    There’s also the fact that when we elected George W. Bush nothing was happening. We had Clinton’s peace and prosperity. Who knew the world was going to blow up and we’d have that Hee Haw character running things?

    Democrats need to do two things. Short term they should hail Kasich as by far the class of the field. Nothing is more likely to turn GOP voters off. Kasich needs to be ‘Democrat’s favorite candidate.’

    Then, if he makes it to the general, we need the attacks.

  18. DrDaveT says:

    I’m beginning to wonder whether the also-rans might come out ahead in this debate thing.

    There is no way that 10 people on a stage can have a ‘debate’. At best, each will get to present a carefully drafted talking-points-with-platitudes intro, then will get to respond to a few random softball issue questions with semi-related prepared comments. The raw numbers dictate that nobody gets enough face time to change any viewer’s mind.

    The folks in the Clown Trailer might actually get an opportunity to seize the mike and win some new supporters.

  19. Pete S says:

    @DrDaveT: You might be on to something. Santorum and Jindal, in particular, might appreciate the chance to make some outrageous and uniformed remarks to try to steal some of Trump’s supporters. He will probably be too busy during the “grown up” debate throwing bombs at the people on stage with him to worry about the kiddie show earlier.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @DrDaveT: You would think it would be better to take a shot at looking head and shoulders above the rest of the kid’s table than to be one more guy with 9 minutes at the adult table.

  21. Pete S says:

    @Pete S: Uninformed remarks, not uniformed. I expect Jindal and Santorum to be uninformed.

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @Pete S: Jindal now wants to have people in movie theatres armed. For protection.

    (Yup, that’s really going to help matters when some nutso goes wild with a rifle in a dark movie theatre. A whole bunch of would-be Johnny Gunslingers, all shooting wildly at anything they think is shooting at them.)

    He’s starting to get down into Venezuelan President territory.

  23. Scott F. says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    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.

    It’s for this reason that I think Kasich may regret making it onto the debate stage. With the earlier “forum” scheduled for prior to the debate, Kasich would have been one of a smaller group (seven?) who still will have an opportunity to put their message in front of a national Fox audience. And three of those seven? people will be Bobby Jindal, Lindsay Graham and Jim Gilmore. Though we don’t know how the “forum” will work, they may be able to say what they want directly versus the “debate” where they will try to say what they want in some twisted way to make it sound like the answer to the question they were given.

    I would think this might be a better situation than being one of ten way out on the edge of the debate stage with Trump in the center sucking up the oxygen.

    We’ll see.

  24. Pete S says:

    @grumpy realist: Yeah, that worked out well in Florida, when the retired cop shot someone for throwing popcorn at him a couple of years ago. More guns in the theatres is a great plan.

    Whatever happened to Jindal’s grand idea about the GOP not being the party of stupid anymore? Did he give up on that and try to corner the market?

  25. Scott F. says:

    @DrDaveT:

    You type faster than me.

  26. teve tory says:

    Whatever happened to Jindal’s grand idea about the GOP not being the party of stupid anymore? Did he give up on that and try to corner the market?

    have you met the republican base?

  27. Pinky says:

    I think you guys are failing to look at this from a Republican’s perspective.

    First of all, Donald Trump is Rodney Dangerfield to Jeb Bush’s Ted Knight. This was going to be a long, boring eighteen holes before this guy showed up. But Trump isn’t just trolling the Republican establishment in general; he’s hitting them on arguably the main issue on which they disagree with their rank and file, immigration. That doesn’t mean that Republicans like what Trump is saying about immigration, but they’re happy that someone has put the issue on the table.

    Now, whoever the ten debaters turn out to be, Trump is going to be at or near the bottom in terms of education, experience, intelligence, and understanding of the issues. You may tell yourself that that won’t matter, but it will. He’s also at or near the top in terms of vanity. He’s not going to be able to handle himself. He’s going to try to hog the spotlight, or get put out that other people are allowed to speak.

    But here’s the big thing you’re missing about Trump: he’s not the center or the voice of the party. He’s in favor of big government health care; he’s a crony capitalist; he’s only very recently pro-life; he’s anti-trade; he’s donated to candidates such as Hillary Clinton. If you’re a Republican onstage, you don’t have to attack him; you just have to quote him. You just have to talk about your education, experience, family life, and honest upbringing – which candidates are always happy to do.

    If you’ve ever watched a poekr tournament, you know that amateurs can sometimes beat the pros. But if you put two amateurs at a table with eight pros, and one of those amateurs starts with 24% of the chips, well, his stack is going to drop fast.

  28. wr says:

    @Pinky: “Now, whoever the ten debaters turn out to be, Trump is going to be at or near the bottom in terms of education, experience, intelligence, and understanding of the issues. You may tell yourself that that won’t matter, but it will. He’s also at or near the top in terms of vanity. He’s not going to be able to handle himself. He’s going to try to hog the spotlight, or get put out that other people are allowed to speak.”

    And the Republicans who love him because he’s uneducated, inexperienced, stupid and vain are going to love him even more.

  29. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    First of all, Donald Trump is Rodney Dangerfield to Jeb Bush’s Ted Knight.

    and who won in that match up?
    With the ‘debate’ format and the time allotted for each candidate I’d bet Trump will come out at or near the top of the field as far as Republican primary voters are concerned. Maybe you’re right and some sort of substance will win out, but I don’t see a lot of substance on that stage and certainly don’t see anyone that can beat Trump at his game.
    Care to bet? I’ll let you name the stakes.

  30. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: We’ll see. I could be wrong.

  31. al-Ameda says:

    I think Trump is peaking too early, but I’m enjoying this spectacle immensely.

  32. JohnMcC says:

    The televised presidential debates have some strange twists and turns sometimes. I’m recalling the ’12 campaign’s first debate between Barack and Mr Romney.

    Popcorn!

  33. Grumpy Realist says:

    What the Republican base seems to want is a belligerent, foul-mouthed swaggering bastard who makes them feel good about themselves. Their main trope is resentment and being pissed off because the world hasnt provided them with the riches and respect they think they deserve. They don’t worry about Trump’s divorces oR bankruptcies because that’s what they would do themselves.

  34. DrDaveT says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    Their main trope is resentment and being pissed off because the world hasnt provided them with the riches and respect they think they deserve.

    They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take this any more.