Fox News released the results from their latest national poll on the race for the White House, and the results are pretty surprising – no matter what your perspective of the last week in politics is. If you’re a Donald Trump fan you may be surprised to learn that his numbers have slipped just a tick. If you’re anti-Trump you’ll probably surprised to learn that he’s still the BIG frontrunner. Even more surprising is how things play out with the next tier of candidates…
While Donald Trump is currently leading the field with 25% of the support from GOP primary voters, the rest of the field has experienced a bit of turnover. Sadly for Trump fans, while he currently leads in the polls, he also comes in last in one very important category… likability.
Among GOP primary voters, the top five Republican candidates based on their net likeability score (the net of those saying a candidate is the “most” likeable minus the percent saying the candidate is “least” likeable) are Carson (+19 points), Rubio (+13 points), Bush (+6 points), Huckabee (+6 points) and Fiorina (+5 points).
The bottom five are Trump (-21 points), Paul (-11 points), Christie (-7 points), and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (-4 points).
Dr. Ben Carson comes in at 2nd with 12 percent; he’s up 5 points since just before the GOP debate.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) comes in 3rd with 10 percent of the vote; he’s climbed out of the middle of the pack and gained 4 points since the debate.
Jeb Bush (R-FL), who was once the leader of the pack, has dropped to 4th with just 9 percent of the vote.
Perhaps no candidate has advanced their cause further in the last week than Carly Fiorina. The former HP CEO has gone from bottom-of-the-pack to realistic contender by jumping 3 points in the poll, to 5 percent, and she is now 6th in the polls.
John Kasich (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) round out the top 10, with Kasich and Rubio each getting 4% and Christie and Paul each garnering 3%.
Among the Democrats, Hillary Clinton continues her precipitous fall, and socialist Bernie Sanders is now within just 19%, at 49-30%, of the once unbeatable Democrat.
While Trump may currently lead the GOP field, that does not mean he offers the greatest (current) upside in a potential matchup against presumptive Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton. The distinction of “best opponent” for Mrs. Clinton goes to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio (both of Florida) who both hold a 2-point edge in a hypothetical head-to-head match up with the former First Lady.
I’m not really sure what to make of this poll or if we should even try to make anything of this poll. It’s so early in the nominating process and we have so far to go before the first primary states begin voting that I’m just not ready to get excited about any of these polls. The most interesting thing to take away from this, for me, is that the anti-establishment fervor within the party is at a fever pitch. Trump, Carson and Cruz (all anti-GOP establishment candidates) take the top 3 spots (and Carly Fiorina sneaks in at 5th)! The conservative grassroots really have an opportunity to begin reshaping the GOP this election if we can come together and pool our support behind one strong anti-establishment candidate… the question is, can we do it?
I’m just not sure yet.