6 April 2016

By 52% to 34% Republicans say nominate Trump, even without delegate majority


Yesterday’s Ted Cruz victory in the Wisconsin primary has increased the chances that Donald Trump will NOT win a majority of the delegates necessary for him to be sure of being the Republican Party’s presidential candidate. For Ross Douthat at the New York Times, that means Trump probably won’t be the nominee. He needs to win on the first ballot or he’s bust, goes his argument.

Most Republican voters, however, think Mr Trump should still receive the Republican nomination “because he will probably have won more delegates, more states and more votes than any other Republican”. 52% voted for this option and only 34% voted for the alternative option that we presented in today’s YouGov First Verdict panel survey. That second option was “the Republican Party should do all it can to ensure another candidate is their nominee for November’s election because Mr. Trump would not be a strong presidential candidate”.

This is consistent with our finding on 9th March that also tested the #NeverTrump sentiment. 34% was also the percentage that then agreed with the contention that “if Republicans can stop Donald Trump getting their nomination they should do so – even if Trump gets 49.9% of delegates”. The YouGov Panel as a whole, however, is divided on the question we asked today. 39% of ALL voters think Trump should be stopped at all costs while 40% think he should get the nomination if he wins “more delegates, more states and more votes than any other Republican”.

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The second question we posed to the First Verdict panel about the Republican process concerned who should be nominated if Mr Trump was denied the nomination. Of Republican supporters the results were:

  • 54% supported Senator Ted Cruz as the nominee;
  • 16% backed Governor John Kasich of Ohio;
  • Next to 0% chose the Senate leader, Mitch McConnell;
  • 4% chose the Speaker, Paul Ryan, who has been the subject of frenzied speculation (e.g. here, here and here) in recent days;
  • And 5% chose Mitt Romney.
  •  17% opted for “none of the above” and 3% were don’t knows.

Amongst the electorate as a whole Ted Cruz had a much narrower 29% to 21% lead over Governor Kasich:

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This greater support for Governor Kasich amongst all voters resonates with the head-to-head general election polls where, on average, Governor Kasich enjoys a 6.3% least over Mrs Clinton while Ted Cruz trails the former Secretary of State by 3.1%.

For more about Portrait of America and the methodology behind First Verdict, click here.

For the complete Portrait of America catalog, click here.

Tim Montgomerie is Editor of Portrait of America