New primary-race polls show Jeb Bush scraping the bottom at 4 percent and 10 percent, but they also show Donald Trump stuck at 25 percent and 32 percent.
One of the two polls showed establishment champion Bush scoring only 8 percent after adding second-choice votes to his total.
These and other polls shows that Bush’s cash-heavy campaign isn’t taking flight — but also that Trump’s raucous, cash-light campaign isn’t gaining the altitude above 35 percent that he needs to win the GOP’s state-by-state nomination.
That’s a problem Trump will have to address, perhaps by reassuring the GOP’s many non-ideological and business voters that he has the gravitas, style and expertise expected of the U.S president.
The first poll, an Ipsos survey of 477 Republicans take in late September, showed Trump at 32 percent support, ahead of Ben Carson at 12 percent, Bush at 10 percent, Carly Fiorina at 8 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio at 7 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Chris Christie both scored 5 percent.
A Pew poll of GOP and GOP-leaners who might vote in the primaries showed Bush at 4 percent, far below Trump at 25 percent, Carson at 16 percent and Rubio and Fiorina at 8 percent. Cruz scored 6 percent.
When the voters were asked for their second choices, Trump’s score climbed to 32 percent, still leaving him 18 points short of 50 percent.
Carson’s second-choice total doubled up to 32 percent, partly because many Trump voters would back him as a second choice.
Counting second choices, Rubio and Cruz doubled to 17 percent and 13 percent, while Fiorina tripled from 8 percent to 23 percent.
Bush’s score also doubled – but only to 8 percent.
The Pew Research Center poll was conducted Sept. 22 to 27 among 1,502 adults, including 1,136 registered voters and hundreds of GOP supporters and leaners.
The Pew numbers suggest that the party’s populist faction has roughly 50 percent support, while the establishment has about 25 percent support. Ominously, one-quarter of the respondents declined to pick a candidate, but instead backed “none,” “don’t know,” and ‘refused.” That’s a huge segment of potential support for the candidates to pursue.
The Ipsos poll also shows how GOP-leaning independents might vote in primaries.
Trump gained 20 percent from the sample of 172 independents, boosting him to 27 percent support in a combined pool of GOP an independent voters, while Bush got only 5 percent support from the combined sample.
Fiorina and Carson each got 8 percent of the independents, while Rubio got only 5 percent. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee took 7 percent of the independents, and 28 percent did not pick a candidate.