By Thomas Madison
As I expected, the bashing Donald Trump has taken at the hands of fellow Republicans has made him even more popular. Go, Donald!
From Gary Langer, ABC News
Controversial Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leads the GOP primary field in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, while also garnering enough support as a hypothetical independent candidate in the general election to potentially damage his party’s chances.
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That’s even though a majority of Americans, including most Republicans, say Trump does not represent the Republican Party’s core values, and six in 10 overall – including three in 10 in his own party– say they wouldn’t consider supporting him for president were he the GOP nominee.
How long the Trump surge lasts is an open question; this poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, mostly before his controversial criticism Saturday of Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero. And Trump’s support was conspicuously lower Sunday than in the three previous days.
Trump’s frontrunner status, moreover, reflects the crowded GOP race. He leads the 16-candidate field with 24 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered to vote, up sharply from 4 percent in May. While enough for a lead, that also means 76 percent prefer someone else, or none of them.
Scott Walker has 13 percent support, Jeb Bush 12 percent, with the rest in single digits.
Trump’s support was 28 percent in this survey’s first three nights of polling. While the sample size of registered leaned Republicans on Sunday is quite small, he dropped to the single digits that day.
His improvement overall, compared with an ABC/Post poll in May, occurred largely across the board. Support for Rand Paul dropped by 5 percentage points, for Ted Cruz by 4 and for several other candidates by generally non-significant 1- to 3-point margins.
Among groups, Trump’s advanced since May by 7 points among college graduates, but just to 8 percent, underscoring his weakness in this group. But – at least until Sunday – his gains otherwise were broad, up, for example, by 16 points among Republicans, 23 points among GOP-leaning independents and 20 points among moderates and conservatives alike.