Thursday, June 30, 2016

GOPers are Right to be Skeptical of Trump

There is a story in Politico about how the GOP's skepticism of Trump is 'hardening.'

"While Republican leaders are cautiously encouraged by Trump’s more predictable campaigning style of late, lawmakers who have long been skeptical of his campaign are unmoved by his tactical changes. Some Republican senators still aren’t even acknowledging that he has their party’s nomination locked up."

“Whoever’s our candidate, I’m going to support our candidate,” said Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, a 48-year-old conservative. “I’ll feel better when I get a list of policies and I see who the vice president is.”

“I’m still evaluating,” said moderate Maine Sen. Susan Collins, as Trump stumped in her home state on Wednesday.

"It’s not just die-hard conservatives or centrists: Republicans from across the spectrum remain unconvinced by Trump’s course adjustments. For many rank-and-file members, whatever improvements Trump manages haven’t made up for a year of headline-grabbing gaffes, from his initial call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. to remarks disparaging an American judge of Mexican descent."

“Today, I’m opposed to his campaign,” said Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. “He did a lot of damage. It’s very difficult for him, as far as I’m concerned, to recover from his previous comments. I’ll give him a chance, but at this point, I have no intentions of voting for him.”

Read more:

Then there is Utah's Michael Lee:

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah delivered a forceful response when asked on Wednesday why he hasn’t endorsed Donald Trump.

Lee chastised Trump for parroting conspiracy theories about Ted Cruz’s father and called some of Trump’s statements “religiously intolerant.”

“Hey look, Steve, I get it. You want me to endorse Trump,” Lee told NewsMaxTV’s Steve Malzberg when asked why he wasn’t “trumpeting Trump.”

“We can get into that if you want,” he continued. “We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK. We can go through the fact that he’s made statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he’s wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church. A people who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838. And statements like that make them nervous.”

Lee said he could get over Trump’s statements, but Trump would need to say the right things.

“I can go on if you like,” added Lee. “But don’t sit here and tell me, Steve, that I have no reason to be concerned about Donald Trump.”

"When Malzberg commented that Trump merely said Cruz’s father might have conspired to kill former President John F. Kennedy Jr., Lee said, “Right, right, he said that. He actually said that. He said that without any scintilla, without a scintilla of evidence. Now that concerns me.”

"Lee said he wanted assurances from Trump that he would defend the Constitution."

“I’m sorry, sir, but that is not an unreasonable demand,” Lee said.

As Lee says Trump is really struggling in Utah. Romney won it by 48 and 2012 and Trump is up just by a few points-in some it's actually a tie. As Lee says, Mormons worry about Trump's intolerance towards Muslims considering that Mormons have been mocked by some fundamentalists in the past as not really Christian.

Meanwhile another poll that has Hillary up by double digits in a bunch of swing states including by 10 in North Carolina and 11 in Florida.

Trump also has less than 50 percent of the white vote-and this is hardly the first one.

RCP ignored Ballotpedia's polls that gave Hillary a double digit lead in lots of swing states.

Do they do the same for Democracy Corps? I would assume so.

UPDATE: I asked Bill Scher who writes for both Politico and RCP and he says that RCP doesn't usually take unconventional online polls though they have now taken Reuters.

Harry Enten:

Three polls this month in Florida give Clinton a double-digit lead. Obama never had any poll that gave him a double-digit lead in FL in 2012."

RCP did post a Loras College poll which shows Hillary up by 14.

There was a Rasmusson poll which showed Trump up by 4 in the general but that's Rasmussen. Reuters shows her up by 11.

Overall as Nate Silver says you expect a range. The range shows her up by as much as 12 and one that has her down by 4.

Meanwhile, we've heard some point out that the swing states have been closer but the batch of polls from Democracy Corps and Ballotopedia blows that narrative out for now.

As Nate and Harry Enten and company say, watch the averages.

Overall, though, it's no wonder the GOP is skeptical.


  1. 538 ranks Rasmunsen (the one today showing Trump +4% over HRC) at C+ and biased +2% for the GOP. So really I think that means you can treat that as a pretty noisy +2% for Trump from them.

  2. Yes and also against the average. This has been like the only poll he's led in a month.

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  4. Trump style mathematics: