Friday, January 15, 2016
Going into last night’s debates, expectations remained high among Republican voters that Donald Trump is likely to be the GOP’s presidential nominee.
Rasmussen Reports’ latest weekly Trump Change survey finds that 74% of Likely Republican Voters think Trump is likely to win the party’s nomination, with 39% who say it is Very Likely. The overall figure, which ties the highest level of expectation to date, is unchanged from a week ago, but only 31% saw a Trump nomination as Very Likely at that time.
Among all likely voters, 58% see Trump as the likely GOP nominee. That’s down slightly from last week’s all-time high of 61% but still includes only 24% who consider it Very Likely. Thirty-five percent (35%) think Trump is unlikely to be the nominee, but just 12% say it’s Not At All Likely.(To see survey question wording, click here.)
Among Republicans, only 21% say Trump is not likely to end up as their party’s official presidential candidate, with six percent (6%) who think it’s Not At All Likely.
It’s important to note, however, that this survey was taken prior to last night’s Republican debate in South Carolina. We’ll find out next week if voter attitudes have shifted in any way because of that debate.
When Trump announced his candidacy in mid-June of last year, just 27% of Republicans – and 23% of all voters – said he was likely to end up as the 2016 nominee.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on January 12-13, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Trump in last night’s debate did not back away from his call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants to this country until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. A sizable majority of Republicans – and a plurality of all voters – think Trump has a good idea.
Men continue to believe more strongly than women that Trump will be the eventual nominee.
Those under 40 are more confident that Trump will be the likely nominee. But older voters feel more strongly that it is Very Likely.
Most voters not affiliated with either major party (57%) say Trump is likely to be the GOP standard-bearer, but a plurality (49%) of Democrats considers that unlikely.
Among voters who Strongly Approve of President Obama’s job performance, 58% think Trump is unlikely to win the nomination. Seventy-three percent (73%) of those who Strongly Disapprove of the job the president is doing disagree.
All seven Republican candidates on stage last night were especially critical of the president’s State of the Union speech earlier in the week, with Obama’s downplaying of the terrorist threat a particular concern. Voters are increasingly critical of the president’s handling of national security issues and think he should focus on terrorism for the remainder of his time in the White House.
The three major Democratic candidates debate again Sunday evening. Rasmussen Reports will release its latest monthly Hillary Meter which measures support for Hillary Clinton on Monday.
While voters in general say a candidate endorsement from Obama will not impact their voting decision this November, most in his own party say it would. But voters regardless of partisan affiliation agree that the upcoming election will have little to do with the president’s record.
Trump remains tied with Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 matchup.
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