Donald Trump hits all-time low in the polls that really matter
Donald Trump’s poll numbers have plunged to new lows after a month of escalating violence at his rallies.
After heavy media coverage of fights at his events and his repeated moves to egg on his backers as they get rough with protestors, Trump is now trailing Hillary Clinton by a gap that would be the largest in decades come election day.
Clinton is clobbering Trump by double digits in five of the six national polls released this week, up from narrow leads she held for most of the campaign. Trump’s slide is being driven by women as the percentage of Americans with an unfavorable opinion of him continues to rise. And pollsters believe the violence at his rallies — not to mention his ongoing misogynistic rhetoric — may be scaring off Republican and independent female voters.
“There's a possibility that the violence at the rallies has cut into his overall popularity,” said Quinnipiac University Assistant Polling Director Tim Malloy.
SEE ALSO: All the times Trump has called for violence at his rallies
Malloy’s recent survey found that 64% of voters believe Trump is very or somewhat responsible for the ongoing violence at his rallies. Just 26% of women had a favorable view of him in that survey, with 67% viewing him unfavorably.
And Quinnipiac’s numbers look better for Trump than any other recent national survey’s — he trails Clinton by just 6 points in their poll. Bloomberg’s survey found him down by 18 points as his personal brand continues to erode, with Trump’s unfavorable numbers at 68%, up from 61% the last time they polled in November, a staggering figure.
“Trump's numbers are bad and getting worse,” Bloomberg pollster J. Ann Selzer said when the poll was released . “A majority of Americans now describe their feelings toward him as very unfavorable. That's a 13-point spike from November 2015.”
Republicans are particularly on edge about where Trump’s numbers are heading with women after spats of violence in Chicago, Kansas City and Arizona, as well as his regularly derogatory rhetoric towards women, and what they could do to the party.
“Some of the Chicago stuff and the violence is coming into play in accelerating people who were unsure about him to turn against him, especially married women,” said Ed Goeas, a top Republican pollster who is advising the anti-Trump group Our Principles PAC.
“Republican women, particularly Republican married women, have been turning increasingly negative towards Trump,” he continued. “And it's not based on his ideology, it's based on his character and his style. They're really taking a look at the measure of the man, and he's falling short.”
Goeas said increased focus on Trump’s attitude towards women — like that displayed in his recent attacks on Ted Cruz’s wife’s appearance — is also hurting him.
A recent ad cut by his group featuring women reading insults Trump has said about them reached 1 million views in less than a day, and currently has been watched more than 3 million times.
Some other GOP pollsters say they aren’t as panicked about Trump and what his impact could be on the rest of the party, arguing his strengths with downscale white men could help make up for weaknesses with a variety of other groups. But even they admit that he needs to do better with women, who make up more than half the electorate. And that starts with married women, a key part of the Republican coalition.
“With respect to married women, I believe it's the fault line of the electorate,” argued GOP pollster Brock McCleary, who advises House Republicans’ campaign organization. “Certainly Democrats will take every opportunity to use Trump's statements against him and the objective for Trump would be to try to bring women into the electorate that might not otherwise turn out and vote.’
Since Trump took a lead in national polling in late summer, he had never fallen more than 6 points behind Clinton in national polling averages. Just three weeks ago, he was down by 3 percentage points.
But March has been rough for the GOP front-runner after a series of rough rallies where his supporters attacked protestors.
Trump trails Clinton by 11.2 percentage points in Real Clear Politics’ polling average , a combination of public surveys. That’s a hard, fast slide from where he stood for most of the campaign.
IMAGE: REAL CLEAR POLITICS
If that double-digit gap holds, it would be a historically large wipeout for the GOP. President Obama’s “landslide” win in 2008 was a 7-point victory. The last time anyone scored a double-digit White House win was three decades ago with Ronald Reagan’s 1984 blowout, when he won 49 of 50 states with an 18-point margin.
At the beginning of the campaign, Trump and Clinton were two of the least popular front-runners in history, with roughly 55% of Americans viewing both unfavorably last summer in most polling. She’s now faring slightly better, with that number nearing 50% in some surveys— while his has continued to climb.
Quinnipiac University’s latest poll has Trump’s unfavorable number at 61%. A whopping 54% of voters said they could never support him under any circumstances.
“That's a stunningly bad number,” Quinnipiac’s Malloy said.
When respondents were asked what one word they’d use to describe a Trump presidency, the most popular choice was “scared,” followed by “disaster,” “frightened,” “terrified” and “horrified.” The first positive word about Trump, “good,” came in seventh on the list.
“They don't like his schtick, they don't like his bullying, they don't like his crassness. He has dug himself a very deep hole and it's going to be really, really hard to dig out of it,” said Goeas.