Five Thirty Eight’s Harry Enten explains why Donald Trump, for all the media attention he’ll get and all the shit he’ll stir up, has essentially no chance of winning the Republican nomination. The reason: Even Republicans don’t like him. I mean really don’t like him.
Trump is the anti-LeBron — popularity is performance in politics, and Trump is the first candidate in modern presidential primary history to begin the campaign with a majority of his own party disliking him. A whopping 57 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Trump, according to an average of the three most recent polls. That beats former record holder Pat Buchanan, who had a 43 percent unfavorable rating at this point in the 2000 election cycle.1 Buchanan, of course, ended up running as an independent.
Taking into account name recognition, Trump’s net favorability rating (favorable minus unfavorable) of -32 percentage points stands out for its pure terribleness at this point in the campaign. Like his unfavorable rating, it is by far the worst of the 106 presidential candidates since 1980 who are in our database.
Nearly 60% of Republicans don’t like him. Which is why the Democrats should be cheering for him to win. But he isn’t going to. He isn’t going to come anywhere near winning the nomination. He’s going to make a fool out of himself on a daily basis. And I, for one, am going to enjoy every minute of it for the short time he’s in the race.