Despite his confident claims that he could take the White House in 2016, Donald Trump is the least popular potential GOP presidential contender, according to a new poll released on Thursday.
Only nine percent of the 655 Republicans and independents polled by Bloomberg Politics earlier this month said they would seriously consider voting for Trump, a flashy real estate mogul and TV personality who has flirted with presidential bids in the past.
Trump’s low favorability percentage is not a function of voters being uncertain about him. Only three percent of those polled said they were “not sure” about whether they would vote for the businessman, the lowest uncertainty score among the 18 Republicans in the poll.
While 26 percent said they “might consider” voting for Trump, 62 percent said they would “never consider” voting for him.
The next worst showing was from former New York Gov. George Pataki. Forty-five percent of Republicans and independents said they would not entertain the idea of voting for him. South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham came in third lowest with a 44 percent tally in the “never consider” column.
Trump’s weak showing is in stark contrast to the confident tone he has struck in teasing his possible presidential run.
“I think I’ll beat Hillary,” Trump told Fox News of Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, last month. “I understand Hillary, I know Hillary. I know the weaknesses; I know the strengths. And I think I would beat Hillary, and I think it would be more likely that I would win than somebody else.”
Trump said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February that there is an 80 percent chance that he will run for president. He formed a presidential exploratory committee last month.
There is some evidence that Trump has slightly more support among the most conservative voters than the Bloomberg poll indicates.
He finished in 8th place in CPAC’s straw poll, garnering 3.5 percent of the vote. Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul won that informal contest, garnering just under 26 percent of the vote. Paul also led the Bloomberg poll. Seventeen percent said they would seriously consider voting for him. Another 41 percent said they would entertain the notion.