The FINANCIAL -- Despite Donald Trump’s record turnout in this year’s primaries, most Republican voters are convinced that their party’s leaders don’t want him to get elected.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of Likely Republican Voters believe that most top GOP leaders do not want Trump to be elected president of the United States. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 20% think most Republican leaders do want their party’s likely nominee to win the White House. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of GOP voters say it is bad for their party that top Republican leaders continue to criticize Trump. Only 15% feel that continuing criticism is good for the party, while 17% say it has no impact.
Still, 64% of Republicans think their party is likely to be unified after its national convention next month, although that includes only 22% who consider party unity Very Likely. Thirty-one percent (31%) say Republicans are unlikely to be unified following the convention, with six percent (6%) who say it’s Not At All Likely.
By comparison, late last month at the height of the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders primary battle, 76% of Likely Democratic Voters said it’s likely their party will be unified after its national convention in July, with 41% who said it's Very Likely.
Among all likely voters, only 17% believe most top Republican leaders want Trump to be elected president. Sixty-six percent (66%) disagree, while another 17% are not sure. Just 17% of Democrats and 14% of voters not affiliated with either major party think most GOP leaders want to see their party’s presumptive nominee win the election.
Only 27% of Republicans now believe the political attitudes of the party’s voters match up with those of party leaders.
Seventy-six percent (76%) of GOP voters say Republicans in Congress have lost touch with the party’s base. That’s the highest finding since we first asked this question just after Election Day in November 2008.
Twenty-six percent (26%) of all likely voters think it is good for the GOP that the party’s top leaders continue to criticize the likely presidential nominee. Fifty percent (50%) see that criticism as bad instead, while 15% say it has no impact.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Democrats consider the intraparty criticism a good thing, a view shared by 24% of unaffiliated voters. Fifty-one percent (51%) of unaffiliateds think the criticism of Trump by top Republican leaders is bad for the GOP, and 38% of Democrats agree.
Voters are evenly divided when asked if the Republican Party will be unified after next month’s convention: 46% consider unity likely; 45% do not. This includes only 14% who say Republicans are Very Likely to be unified and 11% who say it’s Not At All Likely.
Most Democrats (58%) think GOP party unity is unlikely.
Among voters who believe most top Republicans do not want Trump to be president, just 41% feel party unity is likely following the convention, with only nine percent (9%) who see it as Very Likely.
Although Trump has the necessary number of delegates from his state primary victories to win the GOP nomination at the convention, some in the party including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney continue to push for rules changes that would allow those delegates to vote for another candidate. Just 24% of Republican voters, however, think the delegates at the convention should choose the nominee by voting for whomever they want.
Many have been wondering what House Speaker Paul Ryan is up to. The most powerful congressional Republican has been highly critical of Trump but at the same time has reiterated his support for the nominee.
In early May, 47% of GOP voters said the Republican Party should be more like Trump than like Ryan. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagreed and said the GOP should be more like Ryan. Seventeen percent (17%) opted for neither.
With Trump under increasing criticism from leaders in his own party, Clinton has moved to a five-point lead in Rasmussen Reports’ latest weekly White House Watch survey. We will update those findings tomorrow morning at 8:30 Eastern.
Both Trump and Clinton earn high unfavorables among all likely voters. But Democrats like their candidate more than Republicans do. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Democrats view Clinton favorably, including 44% who regard her Very Favorably. Among Republicans, 67% have a favorable opinion of Trump, but that includes just 32% with a Very Favorable one.