I’ve said that the attempt to deny Donald Trump the nomination at the Republican National Convention is very unlikely to succeed, and that’s still true for many reasons, but a new poll suggests that Republican voters are deeply divided on that issue and a lot of them want Trump gone.
A CNN poll released on Tuesday shows that a stunning 48 percent of Republicans polled would prefer that the party dump Trump in favor of another candidate. The presumptive nominee maintains the thinnest margin of majority support, at 51 percent. Unfortunately, it’s the first time CNN has asked the question, so it’s hard to get a good sense of how that number has changed over time. Trump did win the popular vote in the GOP primary handily, per RealClearPolitics’s count. But he still won only a plurality of the vote, not a majority.
These poll results come amid other bad public-opinion news for Trump, and they fit with the trend. Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton in every recent head-to-head poll, and his unfavorable rating has reached a dismal 70 percent. (Clinton’s own high disapproval is overshadowed.) Trump has had a terrible few weeks, in which he was hammered by Clinton, blundered into an ill-advised attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, saw his response to the Orlando massacre panned, and reported next to no fundraising. In short, Trump looks like an incredibly weak presumptive nominee, perhaps among the weakest ever. It makes sense that Republican voters would be losing some faith in him, just as most of the country seems to be doing. For conservatives who warned against Trump, it is bittersweet vindication.
The news that his campaign is way behind Clinton in fundraising can’t help matters for him either. Certainly no candidate in my lifetime has begun the general election phase in such disarray and so far behind in fundraising.