GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump always touts his poll numbers. However, there’s a Gallup poll that he doesn’t want anybody to see, a poll that demonstrates why he has a good chance of winning the nomination but the worst chance of all candidates when it comes to winning the general election.
This poll is the net favorability rating, arguably the most accurate indicator of actual voter responses. Every President over the last three decades with the exception of George W. Bush in 2000 has had the highest net favorability rating in their own party. Also, non-incumbent winners have had a strong net favorability rating in the opposition party as well as the all-important Independents.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the GOP "donor class" is pretty dumb if they're resigned to nominating Trump. https://t.co/jmwl5uaR4Z
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 18, 2016
Here’s Donald Trump’s problem. He has a very passionate core following that is larger than any other candidate, but his net favorability among all Republicans, supporters or not, is only better than Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. He’s at +27 compared to Marco Rubio at +46, Ben Carson at +47, and Ted Cruz at +51.
It gets worse for Trump when we look Democrats. His -70 is more than twice as bad as the average for the field. While it’s assumed that Democrats will hate the Republican nominee in general, many of them will vote for the best person available even if it’s a Republican. Trump’s net favorability among Democrats shows he has by far the lowest ability to pull any of their votes.
The real damning statistic is how he fairs among Independents. A viable candidate must be no lower than single digits negative to have a valid chance of winning the general election. This would exclude Bush, for example, who has the second worst rating of -13. However, he’s in much better shape than Trump who is at an unprecedented -27. Every other GOP candidate is in single digits for Independents.
Here’s the chart:
This is bad news today for a campaign that is riding high with Republicans but that is almost certainly unable to win the general election.
It Will Get Worse
The problem isn’t that he’s scoring so poorly today. His biggest challenges will come if he’s able to win the nomination. Right now, the press is riding the Trump wave. They like having him on the shows and watching their own ratings go up. However, this will change.
The press will not be his friend in the general election. They will obliterate him. They will seek and find skeletons in his closet and will attempt to paint a picture of a greedy, incompetent man who is rich because he was born rich and in spite of his terrible decisions. They will march out women, minorities, old business partners, and people that he’s hurt over the years.
Even firebrand Ted Cruz has a much higher appeal to Independents than Trump. Democrats might hate both of them, but if Independent voters decide elections, Trump is toast.