- Thomson Reuters
Real-estate magnate Donald Trump continues to expand his lead over his Republican rivals, and there are new signs of his durability as a candidate.
A new Monmouth University poll released on Thursday shows Trump lapping his opponents.
According to Monmouth, 30% of Republican voters nationwide say right now that Trump would be their pick for the Republican nomination.
That’s far ahead of the second-place candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who won 18% support among Republican voters and continues to surge in the polls himself.
The Monmouth release is the latest in a string of polls that show the deep dissatisfaction among Republican voters with any candidate with a whiff of political experience.
The closest candidates to Trump in the latest poll who have a history of being elected to office were former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), both of whom captured 8% of Republican voters.
“None of the establishment candidates is having any success in getting an anti-Trump vote to coalesce around them. In fact, any attempt to take on Trump directly only seems to make him stronger,” Monmouth polling director Patrick Murray said in a statement. “The fact that the only one who can challenge Trump is the only other candidate who has never held or run for elected office speaks volumes to the low regard GOP voters have for the establishment.”
At the moment, many of the main arguments against the legitimacy of Trump’s strength as a candidate have been seemingly nullified. Many pollsters and analysts initially wrote off Trump’s candidacy, citing the disproportionate influence of his name recognition on early polls and his poor image as reasons why Trump would quickly fade away.
But despite generating numerous rounds of controversy, Trump now is seen positively by a clear majority of Republican voters. CNN, Public Policy Polling, and Monmouth have found in recent polls that Trump’s favorability ratings have shifted dramatically.
Thursday’s Monmouth poll shows that 59% of GOP voters view Trump favorably, compared to 29% who see him in an unfavorable light. The same poll conducted in June had those numbers virtually reversed: Only 20% of Republicans held a favorable view of Trump then, compared to 55% who viewed him negatively. The only candidate who’s viewed more favorably is Carson, who 67% of Republican voters see in a positive light.
Trump is also dominating head-to-head matchups against most other Republican candidates.
Trump beats Bush in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup by a 56-37 margin. He also would beat Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) 52-38 and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) 53-38.
The only candidate he wouldn’t beat head to head, according to the poll? Carson, who leads him by a 55-36 margin.
And in a Bloomberg Politics-Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa released earlier this week, Trump cut the number of voters who said that they’d never vote for him in half.
“Like Democrats in 2007 who looked for their savior in Barack Obama, Republicans in 2015 seem to be looking for their savior in Trump,” The Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobswrote along with that poll.