Ignorant Thug Digs Deeper HolePosted: March 29, 2016
Steven Shepard writes: Donald Trump wasn’t wildly popular to begin with. And now he’s becoming even more disliked among American voters, creating a significant threat to his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination.
“If Trump misses the threshold to win the nomination outright in bound delegates, it will be more difficult to persuade unbound delegates to put him over the top if they see him as a general election disaster-in-the-making due to his high unfavorability ratings among all voters.”
Trump is, by far, the GOP delegate leader — and the only candidate with a realistic shot at winning a majority of delegates before the July convention. But at the same time, nearly two-thirds of Americans view Trump unfavorably — and his image rating has declined since Republican voting began in February.
The danger for Trump is two-fold: His declining popularity is taking a toll on his standing in the 17 states that will hold primaries between now and the end of the process in early June. Losing some of these states — or even winning fewer delegates in proportional states — makes it more difficult for Trump to secure a pre-convention majority of 1,237 delegates.
That’s where Trump’s horrific poll numbers could haunt him again: If Trump misses the threshold to win the nomination outright in bound delegates, it will be more difficult to persuade unbound delegates to put him over the top if they see him as a general election disaster-in-the-making due to his high unfavorability ratings among all voters.
How bad are Trump’s image ratings? The HuffPost Pollster average of recent national polls puts Trump’s favorability at only 31 percent, while 63 percent view him unfavorably.
That’s a notable decline from late January, on the eve of the first votes in the GOP nominating process, when Trump’s average favorability rating was 37 percent, with 57 percent viewing him unfavorably.
Trump is hardly alone: Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz are also viewed unfavorably by majorities of Americans, according to polling averages. Only John Kasich and Bernie Sanders — neither of whom has faced many negative attacks from either party — have positive image ratings.
Among Republicans, Trump’s numbers aren’t stellar, but they have been durable — even as the other GOP candidates have trained their fire on him. Polls earlier this month from CNN/ORC and Quinnipiac University show Trump’s overall favorability rating tanking, but the figures are virtually unchanged among Republicans: A little more than 60 percent view him favorably, and about a third have an unfavorable opinion of him.
But the remainder of Republican primaries — which resume next week in Wisconsin — will be held at the state level. And in a three-way race with Cruz and Kasich, the forces aiming to halt Trump’s march to the nomination will continue to chip away further at Trump’s image….(read more)