Donald Trump took a commanding lead in the polls following his call to bar Muslims from entering the country, but his fellow Republicans may wind up paying the price.
Donald Trump’s recent remarks opened a chasm between the real estate billionaire and the rest of the Republican Party, which had been cultivating the minority vote for years.
The Donald has suffered near universal condemnation from Republicans for his call to temporarily stop Muslims from entering the country, but the billionaire continues to command a sizable lead in the polls.
A new CNN/WBUR survey, released Tuesday, shows Trump leading the pack of Republican presidential contenders with 32 percent of likely voters in New Hampshire giving him their support. That’s up from 26 percent in September.
Trailing in second place was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 14 percent followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 9 percent and Jeb Bush with 8 percent.
The poll was taken after the shootings in San Bernardino that claimed the lives of 14 people, but before Trump made his comments calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
Trump’s comments have left Republican leaders frustrated as they struggle to deal with the fallout from the billionaire’s outlandish comments. Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both condemned Trumps statements as did Jennifer Horn, the New Hampshire Republican Party chair, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“It is un-Republican, it is unconstitutional and it is un-American.”
Other Republican presidential contenders were also quick to criticize Trump with Jeb Bush openly calling him “unhinged” and Ted Cruz saying it wasn’t his policy.
Even former Vice President Dick Cheney said banning a whole religion is un-American, during his radio talk show late Monday.
That opposition hasn’t stopped The Donald or his supporters from grandstanding, however, which raises the question of whether he’ll run as an independent candidate, something that would mainly benefit the Democrat Party.
A new Suffolk University poll, also released Tuesday, showed that two thirds of Trump supporters would support him if he ran as an independent candidate.
The core of Trump’s supporters have stood by their candidate even as his emotional rhetoric has divided the Republican Party. A CNN/ORC poll, released Monday, show him with a double digit lead in Iowa as well. Republican voters in the state support Trump 33 percent to second place Ted Cruz’s 20 percent.
The White House also joined the chorus of voices criticizing Trump’s latest emotional statement with Press Secretary Josh Earnest saying the billionaire’s extreme comments have disqualified him from running for president, according to Yahoo.
“Now, I know that each of the Republican candidates has already taken an oath pledging to support Donald Trump for president of the United States if he wins the nomination. But the fact is, the first thing a president does when he or she takes the oath of office is to swear an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. And the fact is, what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president.”
Trump issued his latest extreme statement in relation to the San Bernardino shooting that claimed the lives of 14 people and injured at least 17 more. His controversial statements have set the tone for the election and forced other Republican candidates to respond.
Far from backing down from his statements, Trump doubled down on them during interviews Tuesday, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“We have to do the right thing. Somebody in this country has to say what’s right.”
[Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images]