GOP Quickly Unifies Around Trump; Clinton Still Has Modest Lead

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s new national poll finds that Republicans have quickly unified around Donald Trump, making the Presidential race more competitive than it has previously been perceived to be.

Hillary Clinton leads Trump 42-38, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at  4% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2%. In a match up just between Clinton and Trump, her lead expands to 47-41. That’s because supporters of Johnson and Stein would prefer her over Trump 36-18. Although there’s been a lot of talk about third party candidates drawing support away from Trump, they’re actually taking a little bit more from Clinton at this point.

Clinton leads Trump 78-9 among Democrats in the full field at this point, while Trump leads Clinton 78-7 among Republicans. Although much has been made of disunity in the GOP, it is actually just as unified behind Trump as the Democrats are behind Clinton. 72% of Republicans now say they’re comfortable with Trump as their nominee to only 21% who they aren’t. Those numbers are little different from the ones among Democrats that find 75% of them would be comfortable with Clinton as their nominee to 21% who say they would not be.

Bernie Sanders continues to do the best in general election match ups, leading Trump 47-37 with Johnson at 3% and Stein at 1% in the full field, and leading Trump 50-39 head to head. The difference between how Clinton and Sanders fare against Trump comes almost completely among young people. In the full field Clinton leads 46-24, but Sanders leads 64-18 with voters between 18 and 29. In one on ones with Trump, Clinton leads 49-27, but Sanders leads 70-14. 

The undecideds in a Clinton-Trump match up right now support Sanders 41-8 in a match up with Trump, so the bad news for Clinton is that she has work to do to win over a certain segment of Sanders supporters in the general, but the good news is that they are at least somewhat Democratic leaning and she has the potential to increase her advantage over Trump by a couple points if she is eventually able to get them in her corner. Democrats lead a generic question about which party people would vote for President 49-41, so that may be somewhat of a forecast for where the race could be headed if/when Sanders supporters unify around Clinton for the general.

There’s been a lot of recent coverage of Donald Trump’s embrace of various conspiracy theories, so we asked about a bunch of them on this poll to see which ones his supporters believe and which ones even they say are a bridge too far. Among voters with a favorable opinion of Trump:

-65% think President Obama is a Muslim, only 13% think he’s a Christian.

-59% think President Obama was not born in the United States, only 23% think that he was.

-27% think vaccines cause autism, 45% don’t think they do, another 29% are not sure.

-24% think Antonin Scalia was murdered, just 42% think he died naturally, another 34% are unsure.

-7% think Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of JFK, 55% think he was not involved, another 38% are unsure.

And closing the loop on the greatest conspiracy theory of this election- a rare one that Trump didn’t embrace- 5% of voters nationally think Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer, 18% are unsure, and 77% find Cruz not guilty of the charge of being a serial killer in diapers. So at least he has that going for him.

Much has been made of Trump’s unpopularity over the course of this campaign and certainly we find that to be the case too- only 34% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 61% who have an unfavorable one. But we decided to take it a step further in finding out just how much people dislike Trump, by matching him in a series of heads to heads with things such as root canals, cockroaches, and even hipsters to see who voters had a higher opinion of. Here’s how it stacked up:

Do you have a higher opinion of Donald Trump or


Results (Trump +/-)


Trump, 45/39 (+6)


Trump, 46/42 (+4)


Nickelback, 39/34 (-5)

Used Car Salesmen

Used Car Salesmen, 47/41 (-6)

Traffic Jams

Traffic Jams, 47/40 (-7)


Hipsters, 45/38 (-7)


DMV, 50/40 (-10)

Root Canals

Root Canals, 49/38 (-11)

Jury Duty

Jury Duty, 57/35 (-22)


Lice, 54/28 (-26)

Full results here

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