Poll Shows GOP’s Two Rival Wings Combine to 50 Percent for 2016

AP Photo
The Associated Press

A new poll shows that the combined polling support for the populist and establishment candidates in the GOP primary adds up to 50 percent of the electorate. That is sufficient to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016–if the GOP’s two wings can somehow rally all their supporters on election day.

The August 28-30 poll of 1,254 registered voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a firm which works for Democratic causes and candidates.

The firm’s new poll shows that Donald Trump “would actually earn more support than Jeb Bush in a three way [2016] contest, getting 27% to Bush’s 23%.”

So if Bush can loyally rally his 23 percent in November 2016 to support Trump and his 27 percent, or vice versa, their combined votes add up to 50 percent of the national vote. That’s not easy, and is maybe impossible, but for now, their combined support is 50 percent.

Clinton has only 42 percent support, says the poll by PPP.

Those 42 points are more than enough to win a three-way race against a divided opposition split between Bush’s establishment wing and Trump’s populist voters.

But her 42 percent is eight points too few to win against the combined 50-point support existing now for Trump and Bush.

On September 3, Trump signed a so-called loyalty oath that commits him to run on the GOP ticket and also to support any other GOP candidate who wins the nomination.

Bush is also expected to sign the document, which theoretically commits him to rally his supporters for a Trump campaign in 2016.

Currently, Trump’s support in the GOP primary races is rising to 30 percent, while Bush is drifting below 10 percent.

“It used to look like nominating Donald Trump would be an unmitigated disaster for the Republicans,” said a September 3 statement from Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But now he’s doing better against Hillary Clinton than a lot of their perceived electable candidates.”

In a two-way race, PPP’s poll says Clinton is still slightly ahead of Trump–46 percent to 44 percent. But that’s two points better than Bush, who loses to Clinton 42 percent to 46 percent. It also discounts the promise by Bush and Trump to combine their now-rival supporters in November 2016.