Donald Trump leads all other GOP candidates in the latest USA Today Poll, but a deeper dive into the numbers point out some uphill struggles for the bombastic celebrity billionaire.
First the good news. According to the poll, Trump is the odds-on favorite (at this moment):
In the nationwide survey, Trump leads at 17% and former Florida governor Jeb Bush is second at 14%, the only competitors who reach double digits. Trump’s edge, which is within the poll’s margin of error, is one more sign that his harsh rhetoric about immigration and toward his rivals has struck a chord with some voters.
With incredible momentum behind his populist tone on immigration and national defense, the Trump wagon appears an unstoppable force … until you put him up against the presumed Democrat candidate – which the same poll did:
While he leads the GOP field, he fares the worst of seven hopefuls in hypothetical head-to-heads against former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic nominee. Bush, the strongest candidate against Clinton, lags by four points nationwide, 46%-42%. Trump trails by 17 points, 51%-34%.
Trump’s theoretical problem in the general election may come from just who he’s popular with. According to a Gallup poll held July 8-12, shows that just 25% of those polled found him to be a serious candidate. That same number showed up when the poll was split-out to show that while Republicans heavily favor him, valuable independent voters found him less serious as a candidate and he’s got the support than even fewer democrats than he did in his 1999 run.
It is logical that Trump might garner much of the independent support and most Republican support if wins the nomination. But independents tend to be more vocal and participate in higher numbers in primary elections which could spell trouble for the Donald long before he gets to go head-to-head with the Democratic nominee.