A new poll released today from Reuters shows Donald Trump and Jeb Bush virtually tied in race for the Republican Party nomination for president. The poll shows that Trump continues to perform well nationally following his controversial remarks on Mexican immigrants. Today Trump seeks to capitalize on his momentum with a speech on immigration in Arizona. A full breakdown of the new poll, including an analysis of the sample and a comparison to other polls, appears below. For more polling updates and analysis throughout the 2016 presidential election follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
The Overall Results
The Reuters national poll has the following breakdown of 2016 Republican presidential candidates:
Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush (16.1 percent)
Donald Trump (15.8 percent)
Gov. Chris Christie (9.5 percent)
Sen. Rand Paul (8.1 percent)
Would not vote (7.7 percent)
Ben Carson (7.2 percent)
Gov. Scott Walker (5.8 percent)
Fmr. Gov Mike Huckabee (5.5 percent)
Gov. Rick Perry (5.3 percent)
Sen. Ted Cruz (5.0 percent)
Sen. Marco Rubio (3.9 percent)
Gov. Bobby Jindal 93.3 percent)
Carly Fiorina (2.5 percent)
Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum (2.4 percent)
All other 2 percent or below
The Poll Sample
The Reuters poll includes 404 self-identified Republicans age 18 or over who were questioned from July 6 to July 10. The poll has a fairly large margin of error of +/- 5.7 percent. The inclusion of all self-identified Republicans, as opposed to registered voters or likely voters, may have helped Trump since his name is more well known among the general public.
What Other Polls Say
A CNN/ORC poll released last week showed Trump (12 percent) finishing second to Bush (19 percent). Similarly, a Fox News poll had Trump (11 percent) second to Bush (15 percent). Both the CNN/ORC poll and Fox News poll sampled respondents in late June, whereas the Reuters poll sampled respondents in July.
The Reuters poll is therefore well in line with other national polls showing Trump in second place behind Bush.
What the Poll Means
The Reuters poll suggests that Trump now may be closing the gap on Bush and is poised to take the lead if he can keep up his momentum.
Still, there are weaknesses for Trump whenever one dives into the details of any of these polls.
For instance,an Economist/YouGov poll found that only 7 percent of Republicans think Trump will actually win the nomination, which suggest that respondents are saying they would vote for Trump as more of a statement than an actual desire to see him as the Republican nominee. The same poll also points out that 43 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Trump, and when asked to give a one-word description of Trump respondents more often than not gave a negative rather than a positive assessment.
Other polls have also shown Trump with negative favorability ratings, which will likely limit Trump’s ability to expand his voter base behind the far right wing voters that have united behind his tough stance on immigration.