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Trump Rises in Polls, But Anti-immigrant Views are Huge Problem for Him (and his Party)

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The GOP base may be warming up to Donald Trump, according to two news polls. But, a deeper dive into the numbers spells trouble for his prospects.

Yesterday, USAToday/Suffolk University released its latest poll showing that Trump has taken the lead among GOP contenders. He leads Jeb Bush 17% – 14%. Two things stand out in that poll. While Trump leads the GOP field, “he fares the worst of seven hopefuls in hypothetical head-to-heads against former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

On immigration, which Trump has made his signature issue, he suffers because of his hard-core, often racist views:

Nearly half of all those surveyed, 48%, say Trump’s comments about illegal immigrants, including characterizing Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers, matter a lot to their vote. Just 15% say the comments make them more likely to support him; 48% say they make them less likely. (emphasis added)

While Trump’s ugly rhetoric has captured a lot of attention, it’s a negative, by a 3 to 1 margin.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll, released today (July 15, 2015), found Trump’s approval rating has “surged” among GOP voters:

Nearly six in 10 — 57 percent — Republicans now have a favorable view of Trump, compared to 40 percent who have an unfavorable one. That marks a complete reversal from a late-May Post-ABC poll, in which 65 percent of Republicans saw Trump unfavorably.

So, the GOP base is loving him. The rest of the country, not so much:

Trump continues to be unpopular among the public at large, with negative marks outpacing positive ones 61-33. “Strongly unfavorable” views outnumber strongly positive ratings by a three-to-one ratio.

Another three-to-one ratio against him. This ABC News/Washington Post also took a look at Hispanic voters, albeit with a small sample, but it sounds about right:

Hispanics represent one group where Trump’s image, perhaps understandably, has soured since his negative comments about Mexican illegal immigrants. Trump’s unfavorable ratings among Hispanics rose sharply from 60 percent in May to 81 percent now. His favorable ratings are 13 percent among Hispanics, little changed from the previous survey.

81% unfavorable from one of the fastest growing voting demographics – and a constituency that will be vitally important in electing the next President.

Trump is not backing down from his racist rhetoric. And, the rest of the GOP’s expansive field hasn’t figured out how to deal with him.