It seems inevitable that Donald Trump’s standing in national polls will fade, but for now, that shift remains on the horizon. Politico reported overnight on the new Fox News poll:
Donald Trump leads all Republican presidential candidates for the GOP primary, according to a new Fox national poll of registered voters released Thursday.Eighteen percent of GOP voters said they supported Trump, up 7 percent from last month and 15 percent from March.
Trailing Trump’s 18% support is Scott Walker, who’s in second with 15%, and Jeb Bush with 14%. No other candidate reached double digits in the Fox poll.
The results are roughly consistent with this week’s USA Today/Suffolk poll, which also found Trump leading, and which also showed Trump generating about the same amount of support as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul combined.
Making matters slightly worse for the Republican establishment, the Fox poll also found President Obama’s approval rating climbing three points over the last month, reaching 47%, the strongest support the president has seen in a Fox poll in three years.
As we talked about the other day, the significance of polls like these is not in their predictive value – the results shed little light on who’s likely to win the Republicans’ presidential nomination – but this year, national surveys will dictate who participates in televised debates, making the polls more important than they’ve ever been.
And in this specific poll, that’s not all. Consider this question Fox asked respondents:
“Recently, presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He said Mexico is quote, ‘sending people that have lots of problems…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.’ Setting aside how Trump worded his comments, do you think he’s basically right on this, or not?”
A total of 70% of Republican voters said they believe Trump’s racially charged rhetoric is correct. That’s not a typo – seven in 10.
There are some ugly attitudes that have pushed Trump to the top of the crowded GOP field, and Republican officials have to come to terms with that.