Donald Trump is, of course, the GOP frontrunner. This explains why, like other polls before it, a brand new Monmouth University survey shows him in first place, ahead of Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), Scott Walker (R-WI), and everyone else. (Only these two candidates, by the way, registered double-digit support with Trump in the race). And while many of us expect The Donald’s reign of relevance to end or implode eventually, there’s no denying the fact he's sittin' pretty heading into Thursday night’s primetime debate:
Republicans worried about Trump’s rise -- and sustained popularity -- often cite the fact that it’s early in the primary season, and therefore his days in contention are numbered. That is to say, while poll after poll clearly shows him winning handily, his favorability ratings are too low for him to be taken seriously over the long run. And yet, this poll completely flips that explanation on its head. It appears Republican primary voters are, in fact, warming up to him:
The Monmouth University Poll also found that GOP voter opinion of Donald Trump continues to improve. It now stands at 52% favorable to 35% unfavorable. It was 40% favorable to 41% unfavorable three weeks ago. Before he announced in June, it stood at a significantly negative 20% favorable to 55% unfavorable.Impressive. A 12-point boost in popularity over such a short period of time is no small feat -- and a major departure from what previous polls have found. Two weeks ago, for instance, a Suffolk University/USA Today survey discovered that 61 percent of respondents viewed Donald Trump unfavorably. So, unless this poll is an outlier, slowly but surely Republicans are beginning to view Mr. Trump less harshly than they once did. Simply stated, they appear to be coming 'round.