The polls have been very kind to Donald Trump in recent weeks, and Monday was no exception, as Monmouth University released its monthly poll of Republican presidential voters. The results showed Trump in second place nationally, trailing only Jeb Bush. But that wasn’t the big news. The real headline in the Monmouth survey is that the general public dislike of Trump, even among Republican voters, seems to be dissipating.
To put it out there from the beginning: the Monmouth poll is not as statistically robust as some other national polls, with a margin of error of 5.4 percent on a sample of 336 respondents. However, when it comes to the month-over-month change in Trump’s favorability ratings, the change is hard to dispute because the difference is much greater than the margin of error.
In June, Trump was severely underwater in his public approval ratings. A month ago, 55 percent of respondents reported an unfavorable opinion about the real estate mogul and reality television celebrity, compared to only 20 who saw him in a positive light.
In the month since, Trump has announced his presidential candidacy, and launched a campaign that has mainly focused on demonizing illegal immigrants and picking fights with people who oppose his policies. Trump has lost endorsements, business deals, and even people who rush to call him a “friend” are rushing to distance themselves from the man who repeatedly said the people crossing the U.S. Southern border are rapists and criminals.
So what have a month’s worth of negative headlines wrought? Well, as it turns out, a remarkable bump in the polls. The data released Monday shows Trump with a favorability rating of 40 percent – double the one he posted just a month ago. And those ‘unfavorables’ are on their way down as well, falling to 41 percent from 55.
It still means Trump’s reputation with the public is underwater, but only just. His net favorable/unfavorable rating in the Monmouth poll went from -35 in June to -1 in July – a remarkable turnaround of 34 points.
“The biggest poll bump over the past few weeks has been for Donald Trump. But you’ve got to wonder if his support has already plateaued since many Republican voters don’t view him as a serious candidate,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Top Reads from The Fiscal Times