Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential field in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, not only in vote preferences but in expectations as well -– a remarkable feat for the non-politician who’s surprised the GOP establishment with his staying power as well as his support.
Trump has leveled off with backing from 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered to vote, easily enough to retain his frontrunner status. Fellow outsider Ben Carson follows with 22 percent, also flat this month after sharp summertime gains.
Notably, even more leaned Republicans — 42 percent — say they expect Trump to win the GOP nomination for president. And given a list of six potential nominees, 43 percent pick Trump as having the best chance to win the general election just more than a year from now.
Just feast your eyes on these graphs which I am going to present without commentary:
<OMG. I can’t breathe. I think I just wet myself. Trump rates higher on honesty than Bush and Rubio combined.>
I’m as skeptical of polls as the next guy. Perhaps even moreso. But this poll measures something and what it measures is 180-degrees out from what fairly experienced political observers are seeing. For instance:
These results also are reflected in perceptions of candidate attributes. Men, those with less education, those who prefer a political outsider and opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership generally are more apt to rate Trump positively.
In one potential trouble spot for Trump, very conservative Republicans –- a key GOP group –- are less likely than “somewhat” conservatives to view him as the strongest leader of the lot, although he leads on this attribute in both groups, picked as strongest leader by 40 percent of strong conservatives and 52 percent of somewhat conservatives.
Additionally, just 14 percent of very conservatives think Trump’s the most honest and trustworthy; 40 percent say it’s Carson. And while very conservative leaned Republicans say by 53-35 percent that the more they hear about Trump the more they like him, that swells to 78-10 percent for Carson.
Not only is Trump not going away but he shows surprising strength. I know I can’t say the more I know about the guy the more I like him and am somewhat flabbergasted that I am outnumbered by people with the opposite view. But the obvious takeaway, at least to me, is that voters in general and GOP voters in particular are shouting “a pox on both your houses.” They have been lied to and deceived so long that there are no politicians who are trusted or respected and so people are not looking at issues but rather at something that looks like a fresh start and they don’t much care about Trump’s past positions or anything else concerning him.