Just over a month after receiving the GOP’s nomination to be its candidate for president, a strong and growing majority of Republicans are concluding that it made a very bad decision.
Seventeen candidates ran for the Republican presidential nomination this year. A majority of GOP voters now say that they wish they’d picked one of the 16 who weren’t Donald Trump, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.
The public as a whole is less than impressed with either party’s nominee. Just 20 percent of all voters say that Trump was Republicans’ best choice, while 30 percent think Hillary Clinton was Democrats’ best option.
Dissatisfaction with Trump, however, extends within his own party. Republican and Republican-leaning voters say by a 19-point margin, 54 percent to 35 percent, that Donald Trump wasn’t the best option in this year’s pool of candidates. In a June HuffPost/YouGov poll, those voters were evenly split, with 44 percent saying Trump was the best choice and another 44 percent that the party could have done better.
When the pollsters dug deeper they found that no consensus candidate was identifiable:
Despite Republicans’ unhappiness, they’re no closer than ever to coalescing around an alternative. Asked who they’d like to see win their primary if they could start the process over, a 29 percent plurality of Republican and Republican-leaning voters picked Trump, with his nearest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), trailing at 15 percent. Both numbers are identical to the results in June. Fourteen percent named Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The remaining candidates were selected by fewer than 10 percent.
The only noticeable change from June is that Rubio has gained about 5 percentage points in preference. Even so, a nominee that has a base support of 29% is probably lethal.
But there is no sense crying of spilt milk. The GOP leadership decided that Donald Trump was preferable to either Cruz or Rubio. Now they are stuck with a guy that well over half of the GOP does not want and they will get the credit or the blame for what happens. I’ve got a big bet resting in “blame.”