Donald Trump is one of those candidates who seem to divide people sharply into one of two camps: love him or wish he would just disappear already. While conventional wisdom — and the so-called “establishment” — has been putting money on the latter, calling the chances of him being the GOP nominee “unthinkable,” a new poll suggests Trump’s not going anywhere any time soon.
And, in fact, in a surprising new development, a solid majority of Republicans now believe Trump will not just stick around — he’ll stick it to the naysayers and become the GOP presidential nominee.
As Rasmussen Reports tells us:
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has captured the public’s attention for better or worse, and his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, once seen as a pipe dream, is now a topic of serious discussion. So for the near future at least, Rasmussen Reports intends to track Trump’s race for the White House in a weekly Friday feature we’re calling Trump Change.
Our latest national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely Republican Voters now think Trump is likely to be the Republican presidential nominee next year, with 25% who say it’s Very Likely. That compares to 27% who felt a Trump nomination was likely two months ago when he formally announced his presidential bid, a finding that included just nine percent (9%) who said it was Very Likely.
At that time, Trump ran near the bottom among the 12 declared GOP candidates. Now he leads the pack of Republican hopefuls which has grown to include 17 prominent contenders.
Among all likely voters, 49% think Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee, including 17% who say it’s Very Likely. That compares to 23% and seven percent (7%) respectively in the earlier survey. Forty-eight percent (48%) now say Trump is not likely to win the nomination, with 21% who feel it is Not At All Likely.
Forty-two percent (42%) of Republican voters say Trump is unlikely to be their party’s standard-bearer next year, but that includes just 15% who say it’s Not At All Likely. That’s down from 29% who said a Trump nomination was Not At All Likely two months ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Despite having fallen following the first GOP debate, the trend for Trump’s support shows a sharp upward tick overall — with likely Republican voters who say he’ll be the nominee going from 27% to 57% in just two months. And those who say it’s “very likely” he’ll be the nominee going from a mere 9% to a solid 25%.
The message is clear: however you feel about Trump, it appears he’s going to continue to be a force in this race — a force to be dismissed at one’s own peril.