By Thomas Madison
If you are a Trump fan, and I am, you are going to love the latest GOP presidential poll.
In the latest YouGov GOP presidential poll, some interesting questions were asked with mostly expected results. In a three-way race between the top three contenders, Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, Trump blows away the field with 45%. Cruz is second with 30%, and Rubio finishing last at 21%.
Among the current field of eleven candidates, The Donald leads by an even greater margin at 36% to second-place Cruz with 20%, Rubio being the only other candidate in double figures at 11%. No other candidate registered more than 6%.
Among the top three candidates, Trump was seen as the boldest (75%), strongest (62%), most effective (45%), most inspiring (37%), most in touch candidate (37%) in the field. He also leads the pack in being seen as a Washington outsider (64%), definite positive!
From William Jordan, YouGov
With less than three weeks until the Iowa Caucuses, a new national poll of Republican primary voters finds Donald Trump keeping a dominant lead built on an image of “strength” and “bold” leadership – in stark contrast to the “conservative” ideological advantage that distinguishes Trump’s chief rival in the polls, Sen. Ted Cruz. Behind the two poll leaders, Sen. Marco Rubio, deemed a true contender by politicos and betting markets, is seen as a less experienced than Cruz and as more of an “establishment” politician.
In the survey, likely Republican primary voters were asked whether a number of words and phrases do or do not apply to each politician. For Trump, the picture is clearest: overwhelmingly Republican primary voters say Trump is “bold”, “strong”, and a “Washington outsider”. By contrast, Cruz of Texas holds wide leads over Trump and Rubio when it comes to being a “true conservative”, “religious” and “experienced”. Rubio tops Cruz and Trump on only the phrases “establishment candidate” and “typical politician”.
But the survey suggest Rubio will also need to win over current Cruz or Trump supporters to build a winning coalition. As it stands, when the race is narrowed to a three-way clash between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, both Cruz and Trump gain roughly the same number of voters as Rubio: Trump rises to 45%, Cruz to 30% and Rubio to 21% – increases of 9, 10 and 10 points respectively.
Perceived lack of experience emerges as a potential weakness for 44-year-old first term senator Rubio, though he is less than a year younger than the 45-year-old Cruz, also a first term senator. Only 40% of Republican primary voters disagree that Rubio “lacks the experience to be president”, compared to 54% for Cruz.
Some of the positive arguments put forth by the Rubio team – that he represents the next generation of conservative leaders or that he is the Republican Hillary Clinton’s campaign “fears most” – receive less than majority agreement.
Cruz has problems of his own. Voters are ready to see Cruz as the real conservative in the race – by 63% to 17% voters say he is a “proven conservative”; by 41% to 30% they say Trump is “not a true conservative” – and as someone who “will stand up to the Washington Establishment”. But Trump’s willingness to break the rules of what a politician – conservative or not – should say or do, continues to be more of a strength than a weakness. By 89% to 4% Republican voters agree Trump “says what other politicians are afraid to say”. These voters also mostly agree (63% to 20%) with Trump’s main argument that he will restore America to greatness.