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Trump Change: ‘The Donald’ Moves Up Again This Week

Belief among Republicans that Donald Trump is their next likely presidential candidate continues to rise despite his condemnation by nearly all the other GOP candidates for proposing a temporary ban on immigrants from Muslim countries.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of Likely Republican Voters now believe Trump is likely to be their party’s nominee, with 31% who say it’s Very Likely. This overall figure is up from 68% last week but still falls short of the survey’s all-time high of 74% in late October. Interestingly, however, the number who say a Trump nomination is Very Likely has moved very little.

Only 27% of GOP voters think Trump is unlikely to win the nomination, with 10% who say it’s Not At All Likely.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among voters who support Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants, 73% think he is likely to be the nominee, with 39% who say it’s Very Likely.

Overall belief among Republican voters that the billionaire developer is likely to win the nomination had generally run in the mid-50s for most weeks since Rasmussen Reports began the weekly survey in mid-August until the terrorist attacks in Paris in November. Since then his numbers have been climbing steadily through the 60s.

Among all voters, 55% say Trump is likely to be the Republican presidential nominee, with 25% who say it is Very Likely. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree, including 16% who say it’s Not At All Likely. This is unchanged from the week before but is notable given the heavy criticism Trump has received for the proposed ban.

Despite that criticism, 66% of Republicans agree with Trump and favor a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. Even among all voters, the ban is favored 46% to 40% as national security becomes the biggest issue on the campaign trail.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on December 8-9, 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 long as the GOP race remains competitive, Rasmussen Reports will continue tracking Trump’s surprisingly successful run for the White House in a weekly Friday feature we’re calling Trump Change. We also release the Hillary Meter monthly to regularly update public perceptions of the Democratic frontrunner on her march to the White House.

Even before last week’s massacre in San Bernardino, California, by two radical Islamic terrorists, a plurality of Republican voters - and one-third of all voters - supported Trump’s proposal for government tracking of Muslims living in the United States.

Men continue to consider a Trump nomination more likely than women do. Voters under 40 think Trump will be the GOP standard-bearer more than their elders do.

Democrats are evenly divided over the question, but 51% of unaffiliated voters think Trump is likely to be the nominee, with 24% who say it’s Very Likely.

Entrepreneurs and those who work in the private sector think Trump has a better chance at the Republican nomination than government workers do.

Trump proposed the ban following the killings in San Bernardino. Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters believe the two shooters in the incident were radical Islamic terrorists. Those individuals had entered the United States without problem and escaped detection despite several actions here suggesting that they had violent intentions.

Voters are far more likely to think the media is biased against Trump than against his chief Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Republicans debate again next Tuesday night, so we’ll see a week from now if that impacts perceptions of Trump’s chances.

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on December 8-9, 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.

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