On average in these polls, Trump’s favorability ratings among Republicans are barely better than break-even: 47 percent favorable and 43 percent unfavorable. Among the 17 Republican candidates, Trump’s net favorable rating, +4, ranks 13th, ahead of only Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki.
And yet, in these same polls, Trump is the first choice of an average of 20 percent of Republican voters — the highest in the field, ahead of Scott Walker (14 percent) and Jeb Bush (12 percent).
: disliked by most people but with a few very passionate admirers. The best contrast to Trump is Marco Rubio: like a “lite rock” radio station, he’s broadly acceptable but few people’s favorite. Rubio’s favorable ratings are much higher (56 percent) than The Donald’s, and his unfavorable ratings are much lower (16 percent). But only 6 percent of Republicans list Rubio as their first choice.
, the bulk of Trump’s support in polls isn’t necessarily coming from passionate Republicans but rather from “low-information voters” who may not turn out in Iowa and New Hampshire. That doesn’t mean none of Trump’s support is real, however. There’s another factor that helps him: He’s highly differentiated from the rest of the Republican pack.
In the chart below, I’ve taken an average of favorability ratings from seven polls of Republican voters that were conducted wholly or partly after Trump made his comments about John McCain on