Whom Do Republicans Expect to Win? Trump.

Philip Bump: “The real numbers, including those in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, support the idea that Trump will continue to lead and that he could win the nomination.”

“There’s the top-line number, of course, which shows Trump with a lead over the rest of the field. Nearly a third of Republican voters pick Trump as their candidate, followed by 22 percent who choose Ben Carson. As we noted last week, those two share a base of support, meaning that if one were to drop out, the other could and probably would pick up much of his support. In other words: Trump has some room to grow.”

“What’s more, his lead has actually been much more stable this year than Mitt Romney’s was in the latter half of 2011. Trump has led consistently for more than three months. In the last six months of 2011, Romney led for only a week or two at a time.”

“Then there’s the question of whom voters expect to win the nomination. In 2012, the New York Times reported on a study demonstrating that asking voters who they expected to win could be a better predictor of an election’s outcome than the actual horse race. So whom do Republicans expect to win? Trump.”

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  • pisher

    If it’s Trump or Carson, bet on Trump. He’s got the money, he’s got the charisma, and he’s not black.

    Don’t ask me what Carson’s got, because for the life of me, I have not figured that out. Has anyone? I mean, he’s not even a mainline Protestant. He belongs to a religious cult just slightly less wacky than Scientology.

    But nobody knows anything until voting starts, and candidates start dropping out right and left. The only thing I’m sure of is that it won’t be Jeb. And a few months ago, I was sure it would be Jeb.

    • JamesInCA

      I think Carson benefits from Bush fatigue/suspicion, and probably from a desire among some poll respondents to “prove” that their opposition to Obama isn’t about Obama’s race — after all, they can support their own black guy!

      Who will it be? My money is still on Jeb! or Rubio. I don’t write Trump off as impossible, just unlikely. After having a fling with each conservative and/or angry white man, the GOP eventually always seems to settle for a conventional candidate.

      Trump strikes me as Giuliani with money. That money can buy some TV, and keep him going for a while without donors. What it won’t do is bring people to the polls, or buy him goodwill among the mass of non-frothing, non-Tea-Partying Republicans — the people who nominated Mitt Romney and John McCain. Eventually, all the non-Trump voters will have their say, and I suspect most of them will vote for a boring white guy with conventional qualifications.

      • pisher

        I don’t think either of those things entirely explains Carson, though I’d agree both are factors. They could always support Huckabee, if they want one of their own. There’s something about Carson they really like. But I have to think some of them will falter when it comes time to pull the lever for a black guy. Particularly once they start seeing enough general election polls that show the country will never accept anyone that blatantly ignorant about–well–everything. Other than neurosurgery. And that’s not the job he’s applying for.

        Rubio is the looming compromise, but he’s so green. And his campaign structure is so weak. And he really hasn’t made a strong impression on anybody. He needs that billion dollar boost from the Kochs, but once he gets it, he’s going to take a PR hit. He’ll look like a bought man, because that’s exactly what he will be.

        Jeb is finished. He just doesn’t have it. Whatever it is. He’s made nothing but bonehead plays, and he’ll go right on making them.

        I don’t think Trump is inevitable, but I do think we’re past the point where the party can unify around a McCain or a Romney–they don’t have anybody that good. And given how bad both of them turned out to be, that’s got to be a sobering realization for the GOP.

        • JamesInCA

          It is really amazing that Jeb has so thoroughly diminished his longtime reputation as the “smarter one.” It looks like we actually did get the smarter one last time around. Who knew?

          Still, he’s been doing this longer and better than Rubio, he has the family network, and he has the big campaign machinery already in place. If it’s him, it’ll be those things that pull it out for him, despite himself. If it’s Rubio, it’ll be because Jeb really and truly did squander it, and Rubio ends up the last plausible candidate standing.

          And I keep forgetting about Kasich. That could be a mistake.

          • pisher

            Only way it’s Kasich is if the convention collapses into chaos, and the delegates are freed to vote for a compromise candidate. He simply won’t get enough delegates of his own.

    • Sam_Dobermann

      Actually, 7th day Adventists are significantly less wacky than Mormons — and the Republican Party sucked up Mitt the phoney and his magic underwear.

  • Calbengoshi

    Asking voters who they think is likely to win is similar to what betting sites do by taking bets on the likely outcome of an election. Because those willing to wager their money on the outcome of an election tend to look at more than just “who’s on first today,” it turns out that the betting sites usually come closer to actual results than all but the final sets of polls taken just before election day (and they sometimes do a better job even than the last minute polls).

    In any event, in light of the research and past results, one has to wonder why a question regarding who is likely to win isn’t a part of every political poll.

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