On Thursday three new polls released, all showing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump continuing to hold on to his lead in the primary race. While one might consider this good news for the billionaire reality TV star, a closer look might show some reasons for concern in the Trump camp.
Until just this past week Trump had been steadily building an ever-increasing lead over his GOP rivals, but after last week’s debate, some of that momentum seems to have been siphoned away toward the Carson, Fiorina and Rubio campaigns. The evidence for this is two-fold: First, Trump’s numbers haven’t receded dramatically, but they have fallen a bit, and seemingly stabilized at somewhere between 21 – 26%. Secondly, Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio have all seen significant growth in their own poll numbers.
If we couple these two points together what we see is this — as the less regarded candidates fall away, their supporters are turning not to Trump, but to the other candidates. When you add the candidates’ unfavorable numbers to the mix – things grow even bleaker for the Trump campaign.
When asked if there was a candidate that they definitely could NOT support, GOP voters overwhelmingly chose Trump. 29% of GOP voters say they could never vote for Donald Trump! Also, Trump’s unfavorable numbers argue that he has the lowest ceiling of any of the candidates in the race (except for Lindsey Graham), Republican or Democrat. His stagnation in the polls seems to indicate that perhaps we’ve reached “peak Trump.” I can’t say that for certain, of course, but the three polls released on Thursday all reinforce that notion.
Here are the results:
Trump: 25%, Carson: 17%, Fiorina: 12%, Bush: 10%, Rubio: 9%, Cruz: 7% and Everyone Else: 2% or Less
Trump: 26%, Carson: 18%, Fiorina and Rubio: 9%, Cruz: 8%, Bush: 7% and Everyone Else 5% or Less
Trump: 21%, Carson: 16%, Bush: 13%, Fiorina: 11%, Rubio: 8%, Cruz: 5% and Everyone Else 4% or Less
To sum it all up, these three new polls have a lot of information for us to process. Donald Trump still holds a strong lead in the GOP primary, but the underlining issues show real weaknesses that the other candidates could take advantage of. The outsiders are still king – with Trump Carson and Fiorina combining for 50% or more of the vote. However, the political professionals like Bush, Rubio and Cruz are all still well within striking distance.
This fall is shaping up to be a very interesting primary indeed.