Political outsiders continue to dominate in an NBC/WSJ poll this month. Rather than flagging, the new poll shows Donald Trump and Ben Carson actually expanded their base since last month’s survey:
In the presidential competition, candidates with little political experience continue to rule. Mr. Trump, the reality-television celebrity and businessman, was the first choice of GOP primary voters, with 25% support, up from 21% in a late September Journal/NBC News poll.
Mr. Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, placed second in the new survey, with 22% support, a slight rise over last month despite controversy over statements he made that an observant Muslim shouldn’t be U.S. president.
Trump’s and Carson’s continued dominance over the past three months is impressive, but what their campaigns should really be celebrating is their “acceptability” numbers. The number of people who “could see themselves” supporting for the two candidates is 74 percent for Carson and 59 percent for Trump, marking the first time Trump has crossed the fifty percent threshold.
Trump also hit another milestone in that he is now viewed more favorably than former front-runner Jeb Bush: The number of people who couldn’t see themselves supporting Bush is at 44 percent to Trump’s 36 percent. This marks a major reversal from June, when Bush was sitting high at 75 percent possible support. It’s also a good sign for the candidates in the long term that the party’s base is willing to stick with them after the nomination.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for the American Principles Project.