Donald Trump is seen as the most electable candidate by Republican voters according to a new AP/Gfk poll. While most Republican voters may view Trump as the strongest candidate, many GOP strategists and commentators believe Trump would be the weakest general election candidate.
The poll found that seven out of ten Republican-leaning voters believe Mr. Trump will be able to win the election next November. In second place was Ben Carson, with six out of ten Republican-leaning voters believe Carson could win the general election. Most analysts also see Carson as another unelectable candidate.
In some of the latest Iowa polling, Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, has actually taken the lead. The polls show Carson gaining an impressive nine percent lead of Donald. The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll has Carson at 28 percent in Iowa, while Trump fell to 19 percent. A Quinnipiac poll appears to confirm the Bloomberg/Des Moines poll, putting Carson at 28 percent and Trump at 20 percent.
Trump is still the top GOP pick in every national poll. The billionaire real estate tycoon has never held an elected political office. The fact that he’s not a politician has helped his campaign greatly. The other two political outsiders in the race, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, have also done well in the polls. The AP/Gfk poll found that a 77 percent majority of Republicans want a political outsider to be their nominee.
As noted by Republican strategist John Feehery who was quoted by the Star Tribune,Trump may only be seen as electable because it’s still so early in the race. Feehery also said that winning the GOP primary and winning the general election are two very different achievements.
“Republican strategist John Feehery says Trump is considered electable now only because he hasn’t yet been the subject of a multimillion dollar negative ad campaign, which will happen should he maintain his lead in the polls.”
A variety of polls have also concluded that Trump would be a competitive candidate in the general election candidate. In a head to head matchup, Hillary Clinton would lose to Trump by five percentage points according to a Fox News poll. A Public Policy Polling survey put Clinton and Trump in a tie. The Real Clear Politics average gives Hillary a 2.5 percent lead.
When matched against Bernie Sanders, Donald fairs worse. The RCP average gave Senator Sanders a 5.2 percent lead over Mr. Trump. Most analysts believe it’s unlikely that Sanders will win the Democratic nomination. Hillary is expected by virtually every political strategist to easily win the party’s nomination.
Ben Carson does best in the polls when matched against Mrs. Clinton. The RCP average shows Carson has a 4.8 percent lead over the former first lady. A Fox News poll even gave Dr. Carson an 11 point lead over Hillary.
As reported by Business Insider, Peter Brown, a Quinnipiac pollster said that Ben Carson’s success is owed to his untraditional political style.
“As they’ve been pondering for six months, many in the political world still are trying to understand Carson’s appeal and how someone who seems to be operating outside the traditional news media/political environment is doing so well among the most conservative GOP voters.”
Politico recently asked top Republican strategists and activists whether Trump had a shot at becoming the party’s nominee. The results show that Trump’s odds of winning the nomination have risen. Politico noted that the shift in thinking among the GOP insiders was significant because the insiders were very skeptical of Trump staying the frontrunner. Now that Trump has held his position as frontrunner for so long, people are starting to take him seriously.
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