A new Associated Press-GfK poll delineates the chasm between GOP voters and the party’s supposed professionals when it comes to the presidential chances of political outsiders versus insiders in 2016.
Among voters, 70% of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents felt Donald Trump could win the presidency, while 60% said the same for Ben Carson. But among the party’s so-called professionals, 60% thought Jeb Bush most electable, while 54% approve of Marco Rubio’s chances. No other candidate received over 50% of respondents’ votes.
When it came to positive feelings about the candidate himself among voters, 65% liked Carson and 58% approved of Trump. Only 48% liked Bush.
Yet Trump and Bush also elicited the strongest negative feelings: 37% of voters disliked Bush; 36% disapproved of trump.
Among voters in general, 57% disapproved of Trump, while 48% disliked Bush.
The only GOP candidate whose favorable percentage outweighed his negative rating among voters in general was Carson, whose numbers were roughly even.
But among GOP voters, every candidate but one received more positive marks then negative ones, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the lone exception. The net positive rating was highest with Carson, followed by Rubio, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump.
77% of GOP respondents preferred an outsider; only 22% liked an insider for the presidency. 67% of Democrats preferred an insider, while 32% liked the idea of an outsider.
Some GOP pundits still harbor the same feelings that triggered the nominations of losing candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney; ignoring Ronald Reagan’s staunch conservatism, while opting for the vanilla losing campaigns of Romney and McCain. S.E. Cupp posited in August, “And so that we need Jeb or we need Jeb or someone like that because electability is important. We can’t just stand on an ideological pedestal or be entertained by the loudest guy in the room and expect to win in a general election. That’s just not how it works.”
Looking at Bush’s recent numbers, it appears voters don’t agree.