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Democrats See McCain As Better Role Model for GOP Than Trump

Friday, March 03, 2017

Republican Senator John McCain has been one of President Trump’s most vocal critics, but the majority of GOP voters aren’t listening. Most Democrats, on the other hand, like what McCain has to say.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Likely Republican Voters think their party should be more like Trump than like McCain. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 28% feel the GOP should be more like the longtime Arizona senator who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2008. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among Democrats, however, those numbers are reversed: 68% think the Republican Party should be more like McCain, while only 22% believe it should be more like Trump instead.

By a 48% to 38% margin, voters not affiliated with either major party opt for Trump over McCain, but 14% of these voters are undecided.

Add it all up, and voters are evenly divided: 45% say the GOP should be more like Trump, while just as many (45%) say it should be more like McCain.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 28-March 1, 2017 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.

Last July before Trump had been chosen as the Republican presidential nominee, GOP voters were evenly divided in their opinions of him and McCain. Each was viewed favorably by just over half of Republicans, although these voters were more likely to have a Very Favorable opinion of Trump.

Men see Trump as a better role model for the GOP, while women like McCain better. Voters of all ages, however, are closely divided.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of conservatives think the Republican Party should be more like Trump, but 54% of moderates and 66% of liberals say it should model itself after McCain.

Most government workers think the GOP should follow McCain’s example. Entrepreneurs and those employed in the private sector tend to lean in Trump’s direction.

Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job the new president is doing, 91% say the Republican Party should be more like Trump. But just as many (90%) of the voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance believe the GOP should be more like McCain.

McCain has been a troublesome subject for many Republicans nationally in recent years. Following McCain’s criticism in 2013 of fellow GOP Senator Rand Paul for his filibuster challenging the Obama administration policy on drones, Republicans nationally expressed a much more favorable view of Paul than of McCain.

Just before Election Day 2008, Republicans expressed more happiness with their vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin than with McCain at the top of the ticket.

At the first of the year, Republicans were more likely to identify with soon-to-be-President Trump than with the GOP Congress.

Most voters agree that it’s bad for America and bad for the Democratic Party if Democrats continue to flat out oppose everything Trump does.

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

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