Republicans Trust Trump And Carson On The Economy, And Nukes, More Than Anyone Else

Republicans have apparently gone insane.

Ben Carson Donald Trump

Of all the Republican candidates for President, the two who are trusted most by Republican voters are Donald Trump and Ben Carson:

Donald Trump is the Republican candidate most trusted to manage the economy, deal with foreign leaders and serve as commander in chief, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll of Republicans conducted after the party’s third debate.

And more Republicans would trust him with the nation’s nuclear weapons than most of the rest of their party’s presidential primary field.

In terms of overall support, Trump was favored by 31 percent of Republicans polled by Reuters/Ipsos in an online survey conducted Oct. 28 to Nov. 2 that had a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson placed second with 18 percent. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and former Governor Jeb Bush tied for third place with 10 percent each.

For anyone still confused about why Trump is holding strong onto a double-digit lead in most presidential primary polls, look no farther than at how much Republican voters trust him. The growing trust shows Trump’s campaign message – that his experience in business means voters should pick him to negotiate trade deals or take on Russia’s Vladimir Putin – is resonating.

On the question of whether voters trust the candidates to manage the economy, 59 percent said “yes” to Trump.

None of the other Republican candidates came even close. Carson was second, with 36 percent saying they trust him to manage the economy. Rubio was third with 27 percent, followed by retired business executive Carly Fiorina at 25 percent.

It’s not just on the economy where Trump shines. Asked whether they trusted the various Republican candidates to be commander in chief, Trump and Carson were tied, at 40 percent each.

On the question of whom they trusted to deal with foreign leaders, Trump again took top marks, with 41 percent saying they would trust the New York real estate mogul. Carson was a close second at 39 percent. Rubio, who has made foreign policy a central part of his campaign and stressed his experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was third at 31 percent.

Asked about handling the nation’s nuclear weapons – another insight into voters’ views on foreign policy – 34 percent of Republicans said they would trust Trump. He trailed only Carson, with 39 percent saying they would trust Carson to have his finger on the proverbial button. Only 27 percent said they would trust Rubio.

(Emphasis added)

On some level, these numbers aren’t entirely surprising. As James Joyner noted this morning, Trump and Carson are at the top of the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll as well as the Reuters/Ipsos poll discussed here. They are also at the top, by far, of the national poll averages at RealClearPolitics as well as the state averages in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. Typically, when voters are strongly behind a candidate they will also be telling pollsters that they have a favorable opinion of that candidate, and that they trust them when it comes to the important issues of the day. Indeed, it would be incredibly shocking if any candidate were receiving such strong support as Trump and Carson at the same time that polling was showing that voters don’t like them on a person level and don’t think they can be trusted to handle issues like the economy, foreign policy, and can be trusted to have the authority to launch nuclear weapons. So, in that sense, it’s arguably the case that one can overstate the importance of a poll like this since it is, in reality, just a reflection of the fact that Donald Trump and Ben Carson are the top tier Republican Presidential candidates right now, and that doesn’t seem as though it’s likely to change any time soon.

Notwithstanding those caveats, though, there really ought to be something quite troublesome about the fact that a majority of Republicans think, at least for the moment, that these two men are the ones who can be most trusted when it comes to the important issues facing the country. On the one hand we have a bombastic real estate developer who has spent three decades doing little more than play at being a celebrity and who has spent his Presidential campaign appealing to the worst things in American politics while at the same time demonstrating nothing that indicates he has the ability to do the job that being President requires. On the other, we have an admittedly talented retired neurosurgeon who, while he comes across as a nice man personally, and probably is what he seems in that regard, has demonstrated vast political ignorance along with a history of making outrageous statements that have no basis in reality. The idea that either one of them is leading in the polls right now, or that Republicans apparently trust them on the important issues facing this country to the exclusion of people who have served multiple terms as Governors of major states or spent years in the Senate dealing with these issues on a daily basis. Admittedly, many of the candidates in the Republican field other than Trump and Carson leave much to be desired themselves but the fact that they are presently being eclipsed by two ignoramuses is a sad indictment of the state of the Republican Party in 2015. For their own sake, and the sake of the country, one can only hope that Republican voters come to their sense at some point.

FILED UNDER: General, ,
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. CSK says:

    Well, apparently the percentage of troglodytic ignoramuses who think the ideal candidate for the presidency is a an oaf who can’t even remember his own bumper-sticker nostrums from one day to the next is far higher than I had imagined.

    How depressing.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    “Republicans have apparently gone insane.”

    Yes, the question is when. Some of us believe it was several years ago, with a primary marker of nominating Sarah Palin in an attempt to appeal to the base.

  3. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:

    She brought them out of the woodwork. It is interesting that the two people whom the base has anointed their saviors are…reality show stars.

  4. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    Republicans have apparently gone insane.

    That horse left the barn quite a while ago. What have you been so busy doing during the 21st century that you are only now noticing?

  5. al-Ameda says:

    And to think, all it took was the election (and re-election) of a moderate Black senator from Illinois to cause the Republican Party to become the toxic waste site that they are today.

    This might actually be humorous if it wasn’t the case that these people have a great chance to elect one of their own to the presidency in November 2016. America is, in a way, not that far from turning the entire federal government over to the Republican Party.

  6. anjin-san says:

    @al-Ameda:

    America is, in a way, not that far from turning the entire federal government over to the Republican Party

    Let’s put the crazy people in charge. What could go wrong?

  7. James Pearce says:

    For their own sake, and the sake of the country, one can only hope that Republican voters come to their sense at some point.

    You say that as if you and Dr. Joyner aren’t personally responsible for the state of the GOP electorate…

    Couldn’t you just say the incantation backward and make them sane again?

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Let’s put the crazy people in charge. What could go wrong?

    To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, no one ever went broke betting the under on the so-called ‘wisdom of the American people.’

  9. alanstorm says:

    “On the other, we have an admittedly talented retired neurosurgeon who, while he comes across as a nice man personally, and probably is what he seems in that regard, has demonstrated vast political ignorance along with a history of making outrageous statements that have no basis in reality.

    Very sorry to inform you that no Obama or Hillary supporter has any standing making a claim like that.

  10. alanstorm says:

    @anjin-san: “Let’s put the crazy people in charge. What could go wrong? ”

    That’s what we have now. Do you object to it?

  11. alanstorm says:

    @CSK: “Well, apparently the percentage of troglodytic ignoramuses who think the ideal candidate for the presidency is a an oaf who can’t even remember his own bumper-sticker nostrums from one day to the next is far higher than I had imagined.”

    It is – it’s just enough to get an utter idiot like Obama elected twice.

    Is that not what you meant?

  12. James Pearce says:

    @alanstorm:

    That’s what we have now.

    I didn’t realize Obama was crazy. I just thought he was African…

  13. Hal_10000 says:

    It’s not just on the economy where Trump shines. Asked whether they trusted the various Republican candidates to be commander in chief, Trump and Carson were tied, at 40 percent each.

    Wait? 40%? Among Republicans?! Hidden headline: Most Republicans don’t trust any of these guys to be commander in chief.

  14. JohnMcC says:

    Hold on for a minute, folks! Look at that debate stage and think who you would trust. How about President Huckabee? President Santorum or Jindal? Would you put the nuclear codes in Gov Christie’s hands and walk away feeling good?

    Everything is relative. As crazy as it sounds, Dr Carson might be my choice with the Nukes and Trump with the economy despite what he’s saying now. I would bet that Jeb! is enough of an ideologue to actually hold the conservative course just like Pres Hoover in the ’28–’32 era but possibly that Mr Trump would know someone who could give him some good advice.

    And yeah, even holding it in my mind for a few minutes makes me crazy.

  15. Joe says:

    @al-Ameda: It’s a pretty common tact for Republicans to say that any Democrat candidate (or this President) is the first step toward socialism. Where would the Press go if a Democrat said that Trump was the first step to fascism? He is a no-nothing strong man bully. Where does that lead? And yet, everyone expects the socialism comment. And everyone would say the Democrats were being outrageous if they called Trump an incipient fascist.

  16. Franklin says:

    Surprisingly, I find that I would trust most of the Republican field with the nukes, including Trump. But definitely excluding Cruz. There’s definitely something wrong with that guy.

  17. walt moffett says:

    Scary thought indeed. Yet, a candidate who refuses a retaliatory launch in the hope there will some survivors some where would be worth voting for. However, to admit that would require more courage than any of the announced candidates have shown.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    You say that as if you and Dr. Joyner aren’t personally responsible for the state of the GOP electorate…

    And you say that like they are the equivalent of Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh. That is so over the top James, I find myself incapable of coming up with a sufficiently insulting retort.

    Well done, sir.

  19. Grumpy Realist says:

    Carson is a YEC. Nothing else needs to be