New WaPo poll shows Donald Trump surging in popularity with Republicans

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Donald Trump may just be a passing fad in the 2016 GOP presidential sweepstakes, but he’s certainly having a moment in the summer of 2015.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 57 percent of Republicans now have a favorable view of the celebrity businessman, compared to 40 percent who have an unfavorable one. That’s a dramatic turnaround from a similar survey taken nearly two months ago, which showed that 65 percent of Republicans viewed The Donald unfavorably.

The survey authors say that Trump’s numbers have improved enough that they are nearly as good as frontrunner Jeb Bush. Bush’s 63 percent favorable rating among Republicans outpaces Trump by six points. Overall, Bush is viewed favorably by 38 percent of Americans and unfavorably by 47 percent.

Trump’s improvements have been broad-based, with his numbers creeping up among most all demographic and political groups. He has even improved slightly among Democrats and liberals, though he is still at very low levels (19 percent favorable among Democrats and 17 percent among liberals).

Even though conservatives like Pete Wehner insist that Trump is anything but a true conservative,  that sentiment isn’t reaching the grassroots, apparently. The poll shows that among conservatives (not Republicans), Trump’s favorable ratings are at 46-46 percent.

Not surprisingly in the least, one demographic where Trump is tanking with is Latinos. Trump has dominated news coverage as he refuses to apologize for his remark that Mexico is purposely sending drug dealers, rapists and carriers of infectious diseases to the United States. Though he continues to respond to the criticism of that remark by saying that he believes he will win the Latino vote, the Post/ABC News poll shows that’s not about to happen.

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.

The reaction to Trump among Latinos compared to Jeb Bush is dramatic:  While Trump’s net favorability rating is negative 68 among Hispanics, Bush’s net rating is 15 points more positive than negative (46 percent favorable, 31 percent unfavorable).

The poll was taken from July 8-July 12. It was a random sample of 1,011 adults. The results have a sampling error rate of + or – 3.5 percentage points.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.