That raises an obvious question: Could doubts about Trump’s strength in a general election derail his bid for the Republican nomination, or would GOP caucus attendees and primary voters simply ignore poll numbers that suggest Trump would be a risky bet in November?
A Dec. 4-8 CBS News/New York Times poll found 51 percent of Republicans believed he would be their party’s nominee in 2016. Trump had a commanding 19-point lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the national GOP ballot, and Republican voters said that nominating a strong leader (42 percent) or someone honest and trustworthy (30 percent) was more important than nominating someone who could win a general election (6 percent).
A Dec. 16-17 Fox News poll found a large plurality of Republican primary voters believed that Trump had the best chance of any Republican to defeat Clinton.
But Quinnipiac University’s Dec. 16-20 survey showed Trump’s image with all registered voters at 33 percent favorable/59 percent unfavorable – dismal numbers, and the highest unfavorable rating of any GOP hopeful.
Most national polls show Republican frontrunner Donald Trump trailing likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and faring worse than other GOP hopefuls against her.