The FINANCIAL -- Love him or hate him, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has been the star of the 2016 presidential race so far, drawing the ire of many in the GOP establishment who coined the phrase “Never Trump” as an expression of their opposition on social media.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that, when asked which phrase best represents their opinion of Trump, 54% of Likely U.S. Voters say “Never Trump,” while just 23% say “Always Trump," a phrase pushed by his most ardent supporters. But a sizable 22% are undecided.
Republican voters, however, are evenly divided: 36% say “Never Trump” best represents their opinion of the billionaire businessman, while 35% say “Always Trump” is more accurate. Twenty-eight percent (28%) are undecided.
Sixty percent (60%) of Republicans say they will definitely vote for Trump if he is their nominee, while 18% say they will definitely vote against him. Another 18% say it depends on who his opponent is.
Latest weekly Trump Change survey, released last week, finds that 80% of Likely Republican Voters now believe Trump will win the GOP nomination, including a new high of 50% who say it is Very Likely. We will update those numbers on Friday.
Women are more likely than men to say “Never Trump." Those under 40 are only slightly less likely than their elders to say "Always Trump."
Most Democrats (73%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (52%) say “Never Trump” best represents their stance on the GOP front-runner. Fourteen percent (14%) of Democrats and 22% of unaffiliateds identify more with the “Always Trump” crowd.
Conservatives are more likely to say "Always Trump" than moderates and liberals. Interestingly, though, most Republicans - and most voters in general - don't consider Trump a conservative.
Just 14% of blacks identify more with “Always Trump," compared to 24% of whites and 27% of other minority voters.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters who say they are Very Likely to vote for Trump if he runs as a third-party candidate prefer “Always Trump." The same number (82%) who say they are Not At All Likely to vote for Trump on a third-party ticket prefer “Never Trump."
It could be bad news for the Republican establishment: GOP voters feel even more strongly that they will support Trump if he runs as an independent.
Following Jeb Bush’s exit from the race, Trump widened his lead nationally on a hypothetical Republican primary ballot.
The primary race is far from over, but most voters already say a choice between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is not one they are particularly excited about. Clinton has now moved ahead of Trump in a hypothetical presidential matchup.