A recent poll of 400 likely Republican caucus participants in Iowa has found near-majority support for Trump’s call to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.
According to the poll, commissioned by Bloomberg Politics and the Des Moines Register, 47 percent of potential caucus-goers see his position in this area as an asset, while 37 percent think his policy plan won’t work. Additionally, 88 percent believe he holds a strong stance on international trade, and 84 percent believe he will help create middle-class jobs.
While these voters support Trump’s positions, it remains unclear whether he will ultimately be their candidate of choice. As Lauren Luxenburg, an account executive at WPA Research, recently wrote at IJ Review, a lot of the attention surrounding Trump has been manufactured by media hype rather than the realities of polling trends.
Luxenburg cited the failed campaigns of past frontrunners who were polling in ranges close to Trump’s current numbers early in the primary process. Remember Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain? Bachmann was polling at 24 percent in June of 2011, and Cain shot up to 20 percent shortly thereafter. Rudy Giuliani was similarly positioned in the summer of 2007.
Rick Perry may have what appears to be a floundering campaign this time around, but when he announced in 2011, he moved to the top of the pack at 29 percent by August, only to fall rapidly. At that point, eventual nominee Mitt Romney only registered at 17 percent.
Even President Obama was running 15 points behind Hillary Clinton in early polls.
As Luxenberg said, “It is clear that polling leads in a crowded field don’t indicate much, so why are we allowing hostile-to-Republican media to position them as meaningful?” It’s certainly a valid question for conservative voters to consider.
Trump, with his built-in celebrity status and bombastic ways, certainly knows how to drive a media narrative. But this doesn’t mean he’s the inevitable face of the GOP, even if many voters in a key primary state say that they agree with his positions. There’s still a lot of time for voters to learn the nuances of his policies, especially relative to other candidates.
Trump has already seen a decline in his standing nationally, with a nine-point drop after the first debate, according to a Rasmussen poll. There’s still ample time for other candidates to rise. One such possibility is Carly Fiorina, who has shot to third place in key states according to recent polling, and has secured a spot for herself on the stage of the next debate.
If Trump falters and fades, someone who’s barely registering in the polls currently, could fill his shoes. The Republican presidential primary is still anyone’s game to win.