Poll: 68% of Trump’s supporters would vote for him if he bolts the GOP
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump not only continues to lead the Republican presidential field in a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll. The overwhelming majority of his supporters also say they would vote for him if he bolted the GOP and ran as an independent.
The nationwide survey, taken Wednesday through Sunday, finds a trio of Republican candidates who show emerging national strength — Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — as other once-serious contenders struggle for traction.
And in a chilling sign for Republicans, 68% of Trump’s supporters say they would vote for the blustery billionaire businessman if he ran as an independent rather than a Republican; just 18% say they wouldn’t. The rest were undecided.
Among Democrats, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton has widened her lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to nearly 2-1, 56%-29%.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken before the latest Trump firestorm, this time over his statement Monday calling for a “complete and total shutdown” on all Muslims entering the United States until concerns about terrorism can be addressed. In TV interviews Tuesday morning, he refused to back down in the face of criticism not only by Democrats but also some leading Republicans.
He likened his actions to those taken by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II against Japanese Americans and others. “If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse,” he said on MSNBC.