- REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl
Donald Trump is still the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But there are more clear warning signs going forward for his candidacy.
A new Public Policy Polling Poll released on Tuesday found Trump at the front of the pack with 27% support among Republican primary voters.
That’s down 2 points since August, but still far ahead of his rivals. The next-closest candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, garnered 17%, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) climbed to third with 13% support.
The poll is more evidence that Trump remains the GOP’s front-runner. According to a Pew Research Center poll released last week, Trump still leads among almost every group of voters in the Republican party except college graduates and people who report going to church weekly.
The PPP survey discovered similar results, as Trump has the lead among GOP Tea Party and non-Tea Party voters, evangelicals, moderates, “somewhat conservative,” “very conservative,” men, women, and more.
But the poll also showed signs Trump’s support has stalled, and in some cases decreased, while other key metrics have begun to tip against him. The survey found that Trump is now trailing in almost every hypothetical head-to-head matchup with other candidates, and his favorability ratings have plummeted in the last month by 14 net percentage points.
Meanwhile, other candidates are starting to gain or regain ground.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who has run a relatively low-key campaign, has seen his numbers rise following well-received performances at the first two Republican presidential debates. Since the last PPP poll, Rubio’s support has virtually doubled nationally. And he remains the second-most liked candidate among Republicans, trailing only Carson.
The poll also displayed that Bush’s poll stumbles have tapered off. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll of New Hampshire primary voters released earlier this week also found a slight bump for the former governor.
On Sunday, Trump said that if his poll numbers declined to a level at which he thought he would no longer win the nomination, he would get out of the race. Since then, however, he has been defiant and reamed into the media’s interpretation of those comments.
“I believe in polls. How many elections do you see where the polls were wrong? Not that many,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday. “OK. You see them, but not that many. If I were doing poorly, if I saw myself going down, if you would stop calling me ’cause you no longer have any interest in Trump because ‘he has no chance,’ I’d go back to my business. I have no problem with that.”