A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Trump with 19% support, just ahead of the former governors, Massachusetts’ Romney at 17% and Arkansas’ Huckabee with 15%. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich are tied for fourth place with nine percent (9%) each, closely followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at eight percent (8%). Rounding out the list are former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (5%) and Mitch Daniels, the current governor of Indiana, at three percent (3%). Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and 11% are undecided when presented with this list of candidates.
In January, before Trump began making noises about seeking the GOP nomination, Romney led the pack among likely primary voters with 24% support, followed by Palin (19%), Huckabee (17%) and Gingrich (11%).
Trump has some obvious advantages built into being a celebrity reality show host. He gets to entertain the nation and then be seen firing the incompetent (or retaining the incompetent and firing the competent to keep the ratings aloft, in the case of the Gary Busey-Mark McGrath faceoff), while the rest of the pack either get to suffer from what they did in office or wrestle with decisions because they’re still in office. Or fight off whatever the tabloids are publishing about them today. Trump is always in the tabloids too; he just doesn’t care. Julianne Moore isn’t set to deglamourize him in a crummy movie. And he’s not likely to care much that Sen. Rand Paul is now dogging him, either. Ditto the revelation that his clothing line is made in China, the same country he has gone around bashing lately. Trump is living by the rule that all publicity is good publicity, and so far, it’s working for him.