A new Rasmussen Poll finds 70 percent of Republican voters saying they believe Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for President.
The high number is significant, because Trump has been roundly condemned over the last week by most of the media and many national Republican leaders. The White House spokesman Josh Earnest even said this week that Trump’s remarks about Muslim immigration “disqualified” him from the presidency. These criticisms are obviously not altering voters’ perception of the political landscape.
Almost a third of Republicans voters, 31 percent, say it is “very likely” that Trump will be the nominee. Even among all voters, 55 percent believe Trump will be the Republican nominee and a quarter, 25 percent say it is “very likely” he will win the GOP nomination.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Dec. 8-9, immediately following Trump’s controversial proposal to temporarily block Muslims from migrating to the U.S. While most of the nation’s political and media establishment have condemned Trump’s proposal, two-thirds of Republican voters, 66 percent, support his plan.
A plurality of all voters, regardless of party, also support Trump’s security proposal by a 46 percent to 40 percent, says Rasmussen.
Trump’s candidacy seems to be gaining new support as national security and terrorism move to the top of voters’ concerns. Since the terrorist attacks in Paris, the number of voters, both Republican and unaffiliated, who believe Trump will win the Republican nomination has been steadily climbing. Before the recent terrorist attacks, only a slim majority thought Trump would win the primary.
This week, the Washington Post reported that several national Republican leaders recently discussed over dinner plans for a “brokered convention,” should Trump continue to lead the primary contest. The Rasmussen poll should caution party leaders to tread lightly on efforts to affect the nominating process through obscure rules or procedures.
The Rasmussen poll is simply a snapshot in time. That said, Republican voters are not currently turned off by Trump’s controversial proposal with respect to Muslim immigration. More than two-thirds of Republicans, 67 percent, believe the media is biased against Trump, which may be a factor in their support of his plan.
Voters may currently expect Trump to win, but they may also change their minds as a result of the ongoing campaign.
It is the ongoing campaign that should decide the Republican nominee. Any talk of a “brokered convention” is dangerous territory for the Republican party.