Donald Trump Polls: Princeton Professor Explains Why Trump Will End Up Winning The Nomination

Donald Trump has led in the polls for several months, dating back to his entry in the race, but still some political pundits believe the wheels will eventually fall off for the real estate tycoon and reality television star.

But one Princeton professor has an explanation why they’re all wrong, and why Trump is likely on his way to the Republican nomination.

Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium himself has been a skeptic of Donald Trump, writing earlier in the cycle that he was unsure if Trump could overcome more established candidates and his own high unfavorables.

Wang broke down the poll leaders of the past 10 years of primaries, and found that Trump is in position similar to past winners (the entire breakdown can be found here).

“The only candidate with all #1 and #2 rankings is Donald Trump. Therefore, if 2016 were to follow the pattern of past elections, he would be the most likely nominee. After Trump comes Cruz, followed by Rubio as a long shot. Nobody else fits the pattern.”

Wang noted that the Republican Party’s best chance of beating Donald Trump, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is “one the edge of serious trouble.”

And Wang isn’t the only one who thinks the polls are predicting a win for Donald Trump. Many other former skeptics are starting to come over the Trump’s camp, and his national polls are helping that.

While Trump has maintained a lead over his Republican competitors for months, he is now starting to open up a lead in hypothetical matchup against the Democratic front runner as well. A new survey by Mercury Analytics found that nearly 20 percent of Democratic voters would actually cast their ballot for Donald Trump in a contest against Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic Party has always had a strong “anyone but Hillary” faction, but there had been serious doubt as to whether they would actually vote for Trump just to keep her out of the White House. While some Republicans also cross over for Clinton, a report from U.S. News & World Report found that Trump’s support is actually stronger.

“Nearly 20 percent of likely Democratic voters say they’d cross sides and vote for Trump, while a small number, or 14 percent, of Republicans claim they’d vote for Clinton. When those groups were further broken down, a far higher percentage of the crossover Democrats contend they are ‘100 percent sure’ of switching than the Republicans.”

As Mercury CEO Ron Howard noted, Trump would have some strong positives in a matchup against Hillary Clinton.

“The challenge to Hillary, if Trump is the nominee and pivots to the center in the general election as a problem-solving, independent-minded, successful ‘get it done’ businessman is that Democrats will no longer be able to count on his personality and outrageous sound bites to disqualify him in the voters’ minds,” he noted.

And just as Trump earns the support of the “anyone but Clinton” Democratic voters, he’s also got the small but equally important “anyone but Ted Cruz” crowd in the primary. Salon writer Amanda Marcotte noted that many are afraid of the idea of Cruz holding the Republican mantle.

“If this happens, it will be much worse than if Trump just wins this thing. Cruz has the word ‘senator’ in front of his name and his kids are cute and he’s won an election, so he gets treated as if he’s a less-awful version of Trump. But he is actually way, way worse, if you look past surface issues like squawkiness in the press. Compared to Cruz, Trump’s agenda looks downright moderate.”

Donald Trump has another factor in his favor when it comes to the polls — time. If any of the other candidates are going to step up, they will have to do it very soon as primaries start in just a few weeks and Trump is steadily maintaining his double-digit lead over the field.

[Picture by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]