With the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks away, Donald Trump is still the man to beat for the Republican nomination. Of course, anything can happen. But assuming Trump does represent the GOP in the general, he has some major obstacles to overcome, at least as far as stats wiz Nate Silver is concerned.
Silver, best known for accurately predicting every state in the 2012 presidential election (he also went 49 for 50 in 2008), thinks the traits that are fueling Trump’s success in the primary may turn into a major hindrance if he secures the nomination.
Specifically, Silver points to Trump’s sky-high unfavorable ratings, which are the highest of any candidate in the field — including the polarizing Hillary Clinton.
“Most Americans just really don’t like the guy,” Silver said in a recent post.
While it’s not exactly a shock that Democratic voters tend to loathe Trump, it’s important to note that independent voters are also less than fond of the real-estate-mogul-turned-reality-star-turned-populist-orange-colored-politician. As Silver points out, a recent Gallup poll puts Trump’s favorability rating with independents at -27 percent and at a whopping -70 with Democrats. To make matters worse, his favorability ratings within his own party are only 27 percent.
After using a second set of data compiled from Huffington Post polls, the numbers still did not look good for Trump. His average unfavorability rating was 58 percent while Hillary Clinton’s came in at 42 percent.
However, as the following video from Fox News points out, Ben Carson is currently the candidate with the highest favorability ratings in the GOP field despite his relatively low poll numbers. So what good are high favorability ratings if they can’t help you win the primaries?
And as Silver himself points out, anything can happen between now and Nov. 8. After all, these numbers are not set in stone. Despite the numerous times Donald Trump has been written off by experts, he’s always managed to not only survive, but thrive (so far). But if Trump does manage to win the nomination, he clearly has his work cut out for him in the general.
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