Trump’s Net Favorability Similar To What Romney Had At This Point In 2012 Cycle

REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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If you think Donald Trump can’t win the Republican nomination because of his favorability rating among Republican voters, you might want to think again.

When Trump first entered the Republican race, his net favorability among Republicans was indeed terrible.

“Taking into account name recognition, Trump’s net favorability rating (favorable minus unfavorable) of -32 percentage points stands out for its pure terribleness at this point in the campaign,” FiveThirtyEight.com data journalist Harry Enten wrote at the time Trump announced his bid in June. “Like his unfavorable rating, it is by far the worst of the 106 presidential candidates since 1980 who are in our database.”

Enten went on to predict: “For this reason alone, Trump has a better chance of cameoing in another ‘Home Alone’ movie with Macaulay Culkin — or playing in the NBA Finals — than winning the Republican nomination.”

Oh, how things have changed. Trump’s net favorability among GOP voters is now very similar to what Mitt Romney’s was at the same point in the 2012 presidential cycle.

A CBS poll of Republican primary voters, released Sunday, showed Trump with a positive net favorability of 24 percentage points:

CBS Poll screenshot

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey from early October pegged Trump with a positive net favorability slightly lower, at plus 12 percentage points:

PPP Poll Screenshot

Romney’s net favorability was essentially the same in October 2011. A PPP survey from early October 2011 showed Romney with a positive net favorability among Republicans of 24 percentage points, exactly what Trump earned in the recent CBS survey:

PPP Screenshot Poll

So it’s quite possible — even likely — that Trump won’t win the Republican nomination. But his net favorability among Republican voters doesn’t currently seem to be a major obstacle in his path at the moment. The same numbers certainly didn’t stop Romney from winning the Republican nomination in 2012.

*This article has been updated. 

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