The Most Important Trump Number

Remember how I have noted (twice, in fact) that one of the factors one has to consider in terms of Trump’s poll numbers is the current fragmentation of the field?  In other words, leading a field of more than a dozen, even with numbers in the mid-20s raising the question of whether he can garner second and third preference support when the other candidates start falling away.

Well, here’s at least one answer to that question that I missed from last month:

From the linked piece:

Among Republicans — you know, the people who decide the identity of their party’s presidential nominee — Trump has a net negative 42 rating.  As in 23 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Trump while 65 percent(!) had an unfavorable one.


Just one in ten Republicans (11 percent) have no opinion of him. So, Trump is both extremely well known and extremely disliked by the members of the party he is running to represent.

Unless that changes drastically, Trump has no shot at the nomination (but then again, we knew that already, yes?).

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. gVOR08 says:

    Facts to an internet fight again, Steven. Got nothin’ to add, but I’d like to go on record as up-voting this.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Steven, but that’s a very old poll. Nate Silver has a take that agrees with you on the basics but has very different numbers. Using polls from Iowa and NH, he has Trump with a net favorable of 4 points.

  3. @michael reynolds: Fair enough, but based on those numbers and that piece, I think the basic thesis that I am offering here holds.

    As the piece states:

    On Twitter yesterday, I likened Trump to the band Nickelback: disliked by most people but with a few very passionate admirers.

    I still think he caps out at roughly where he is at: mid-20s.

    Also from Silver:

    Relatively few voters say Trump is their second choice,3 and many Republicans dislike him.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    “Every party needs a pooper and that’s why we invited you….”

  5. Moosebreath says:

    For Trump, the most important number is always Number One!!!

  6. HankP says:

    I hope you’re right, but there seems to be a really large market for assholes this election.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    Possibly related: A video of a New Hampshire focus group discussing The Donald as if he were the second coming:

  8. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Trump don’t care… He doesn’t like ’em either !

    Who needs them ! They’re fired !

    If he wants someone to vote for him, he’ll buy them !

  9. Pinky says:

    I’m surprised how high Huckabee and Cruz are in favorability. I’ve said before that Rubio or Walker could attract both conservatives and moderates, and if I were either of them, I’d be pretty happy with this poll.

  10. Slugger says:

    How about money? I would like to see how many contributions he has garnered. In American elections the bankroll is more important than polling numbers. I believe that the bank account is a highly reliable predictor of election outcome. I doubt that the Donald will spend his own money.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky: I can see Rubio, tabula rasa that he is, but what about Walker makes you think he might be attractive to moderates? The man is as hard right as they get in this election and he has the record to prove it.

  12. @Slugger:

    In American elections the bankroll is more important than polling numbers.

    Well, actually no. Money is very important, but not more important than actual support.

    Ask Presidents Perot and Forbes, for example.

    And even if we want to talk more recent history: go back and note that Gingrich had a great deal of cash infusion from major donors and it was not enough to sustain his run for the nomination.

    Money is necessary, but not sufficient.

  13. Pinky says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Just for clarity: Slugger was talking about donations, not personal wealth.

  14. @Pinky: Well, I suppose Slugger can clarify as he wishes.

  15. Pinky says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Walker as hard right as they get? I don’t see it. Maybe if you view him primarily as a union-buster, but even then, as hard right as Santorum and Cruz? I’m thinking he’ll come of as primarily a budget-balancer who doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on social issues.

  16. Slugger says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Dr. Taylor, maybe one of your grad students can do the looking and run the statistical correlations between standing in the polls twelve months ahead of the election, money in the kitty at that point, and outcome for gubernatorial, senatorial, and presidential elections. I think HRC was ahead of Obama in dollars in 2008, but otherwise I think the r value for dollars is better than for the polling numbers. I am willing to bet a $250 donation to Doctors Without Borders on it.

  17. @Slugger: As I said: money is necessary, but not sufficient.

  18. To be a bit less glib: I suppose it depends on what you are asking. Are you saying who has the better chance at this stage of the game to persevere to the end? Then yes, the fact that Bush, for example, has a lot more money than Kasich absolutely matters.

    Of course, part of my current thesis is that the polls don’t yet mean all that much, so perhaps that figures into your statement as well.

    The money calculations are different, however now versus 6 months from now v. a year from now.