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Trump Change: Voters Rate His Chances

Friday, August 21, 2015

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has captured the public’s attention for better or worse, and his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, once seen as a pipe dream, is now a topic of serious discussion. So for the near future at least, Rasmussen Reports intends to track Trump’s race for the White House in a weekly Friday feature we’re calling Trump Change.

Our latest national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely Republican Voters now think Trump is likely to be the Republican presidential nominee next year, with 25% who say it’s Very Likely. That compares to 27% who felt a Trump nomination was likely two months ago when he formally announced his presidential bid, a finding that included just nine percent (9%) who said it was Very Likely.

At that time, Trump ran near the bottom among the 12 declared GOP candidates. Now he leads the pack of Republican hopefuls which has grown to include 17 prominent contenders.

Among all likely voters, 49% think Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee, including 17% who say it’s Very Likely. That compares to 23% and seven percent (7%) respectively in the earlier survey. Forty-eight percent (48%) now say Trump is not likely to win the nomination, with 21% who feel it is Not At All Likely.

Forty-two percent (42%) of Republican voters say Trump is unlikely to be their party’s standard-bearer next year, but that includes just 15% who say it’s Not At All Likely. That’s down from 29% who said a Trump nomination was Not At All Likely two months ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Trump’s support fell following the first GOP debate.

Rasmussen Reports Managing Editor Fran Coombs or spokesman Leon Sculti are available for media comment on these poll results. Call 732-776-9777x205 or send e-mail to leon.sculti@rasmussenreports.com to schedule now.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on August 19-20, 2015 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.

As each Republican presidential candidate formally announced, Rasmussen Reports asked voters how likely he or she was to ultimately be the nominee. Jeb Bush was the leader with 56% of likely GOP voters saying he was likely to win the nomination, including 16% who said it was Very Likely.  But we haven’t asked that question about Bush or any of the other GOP hopefuls in recent weeks.

[Here’s a look at how all the announced presidential candidates stacked up initially.]

Voters agree with Trump on the need to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. They also believe overwhelmingly that illegal immigrants convicted of a felony in this country should be deported. Trump made both proposals in a policy paper he released last weekend that calls for getting tough on illegal immigration.

Earlier this summer, Trump took a lot of criticism from Democrats and other Republican presidential hopefuls over his candid remarks about the criminality of many illegal immigrants, but most voters agree with Trump that illegal immigration increases serious crime in this country.

The reaction to his comments also increased media coverage of the murder of a young woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant from Mexico who said he came to that city because it does not enforce immigration laws. Most voters now want to get tough on so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to enforce these laws.

We noted in a commentary last month how the media spins the illegal immigration issue, comparing the coverage of Trump’s positions with those taken by leading Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.

In the face of increasing legal questions about the safety of secrets on the private e-mail server she used as secretary of State and of a vigorous intraparty challenge from Bernie Sanders, belief that Clinton is likely to be next year's Democratic presidential nominee has dropped noticeably over the past month.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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