Not surprisingly to many of us, it turns out Mitt Romney’s speech last week bashing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump did little to turn voters against the candidate. In fact, in the wake of Romeny’s comments, 31 percent of Republican voters say they’re now more likely to vote for Trump, while only 20 percent say they’re less likely to.
Thirty-one percent of Republican voters, after Romney called Trump “a phony,” said they are now more likely to cast a vote for Trump and 30 percent of the voters who supported Romney in 2012 said they are more likely to vote for Trump, according to a new Morning Consult poll released Tuesday.
Roughly 20 percent of GOP voters said they’re less likely to support Trump. Forty-three percent of the voters said they didn’t think Romney’s criticisms had an impact.
The Morning Consult poll also suggests Republican voters favor Trump over Romney, as the real estate mogul has a slightly higher favorability rating.
The poll suggests Trump has a 55-42 favorability rating, while the former Massachusetts governor’s favorability rating is 51-41.
Only five percent of Trump supporters polled said they are now less likely to support the frontrunner.
Despite Romney’s speech having little to no effect on Trump, the poll did find that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is closing in on the billionaire.
According to the poll, Cruz increased eight percentage points and is now within 17 points of Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) remained in third place with 14 percent. Ohio Gov. John Kasich ranked fourth at 10 percent; however, his support has doubled since the previous poll.
The poll questioned 2,019 registered voters online from March 4th to March 6th. It has a margin of error of plus or minus two percent.
The fact that admonishment from an “establishment” figurehead such as Romney did little to influence supporters to turn away from Trump — and in some cases, only fueled Trump’s support — should really come as no surprise at all to anyone who’s been paying attention. In fact, whatever you may think of Romney or Trump themselves, this move by Romney only seemed to reinforce the notion that the so-called “establishment” is not only out of touch with widespread voter sentiment, it’s completely — perhaps willfully — tone-deaf to the will of the people it is supposed to serve.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]