Poll: Paul Ryan's Approval Collapses, More GOP Voters Say Trump Best Represents Their View Of The Party

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 21, 2016 12:40 PM
Poll: Paul Ryan's Approval Collapses, More GOP Voters Say Trump Best Represents Their View Of The Party

Justin wrote about the hostile reception to Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan from Trump supporters at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Chants of “Paul Ryan sucks” were shouted, but is this an isolated incident? That is, is this just a representation of Trump supporters from the local area? No—not really. The latest polling shows that support for Ryan has collapsed, sinking 28 points…in a week. The YouGov poll had some interesting points concerning Ryan, Trump, and the brewing tensions that seem bound to erupt in civil war once this election is over.

Allahpundit noted that Ryan is experiencing the Ted Cruz treatment from his own side by refusing to campaign with Trump, though he hasn’t yanked his endorsement, which rightfully leaves some people wondering why this late in the game would anyone just stop supporting Trump. For starters, the Access Hollywood tape isn’t a deal breaker with many Republican voters, but it is one with almost a quarter of independents, who Trump needs to win over in order to win this election. Another interesting find in the crosstabs about Ryan is that most Republicans, despite their increasing dislike of him, view him as the leader of the GOP, not Trump:

You would expect a majority of Republicans to say Trump when we’re a month out from Election Day. Nope — it’s Ryan, narrowly, which reflects either the deep ideological ambivalence on the right to the nominee or a growing resignation that Trump’s going to lose and Ryan will be the leader of the party the day after. Interestingly, pluralities of Dems and independents also say Ryan, not Trump, is the leader of the party. That’s especially odd among Democrats since you’d think they’d want to spread the idea that the very unpopular Trump is the face of the GOP, not the mildly unpopular Ryan. Maybe that’s the result of Hillary Clinton having spent the last three months telling the country that Trump doesn’t represent mainstream Republicans, a talking point that’s driven other Democrats nuts since it lets Republicans downballot off the hook for Trump’s worst excesses. If the GOP hangs onto the Senate, that’ll partly explain why.

Well, just a second, how can it be that Ryan is viewed as the leader of the GOP, but most Republicans think that Trump’s views best represent their own vision of the party? In fact, a new Bloomberg poll had Gov. Mike Pence as the person GOP voters want to see as the face of the party, followed by Trump, and then Sen. Ted Cruz. Ryan is fourth on that list:

When asked in the latest Bloomberg Politics poll who should be the face of the party nationally in the event of a Hillary Clinton victory, likely voters who are or lean Republican splintered down a list of five options.

A plurality, 27 percent, picked vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. Trump got 24 percent, ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 19 percent, House Speaker Paul Ryan at 15 percent, and Ohio Governor John Kasich at 10 percent.

[…]

When asked which leader better represents their view what the Republican Party should stand for, 51 percent of likely voters who are or lean Republican picked Trump, while 33 percent picked Ryan and 15 percent said they weren’t sure.

What is clear in these data is that a large segment of Trump supporters are all-in with the candidate. They see him as capable of delivering on the promise of a greater nation. That said, just 38 percent of them say they will stay loyal and follow his future endeavors if he does not win,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey ahead of the final debate Wednesday. “If he were to lose, our data suggest his standing would diminish.”

Trump’s sliding popularity among party faithful may be another sign that his leadership would be less than welcome, especially since it already pales in comparison to the last nominee.

In the latest Bloomberg Politics poll, Trump’s favorability rating was 76 percent among likely voters who are or lean Republican, down from 81 percent in late September. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s last nominee, was seen favorably by 91 percent in a Bloomberg poll in September 2012.

Still, I doubt that the Trump wing of the GOP will disband overnight. If Trump should lose, the Never Trump wing and the establishment will begin with the “I told you so” antics, which is ridiculous. We don’t need that post-November 8th. What the party needs is a long, detailed, and painful discussion on reconstruction—and the Trump crowd will have to be part of it. On one hand, Paul Ryan is sinking in favorability, but is viewed as the leader of the party. Trump appears to be sinking in favorability, though his is much higher than Ryan’s, but is not considered the leader of the GOP. Yet, a majority of Republican voters feels that he best represents their views of the party. It’s a rather tribal look at the party, one that seems primed to see hostilities break out, especially if Trump loses in November.