Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a comfortable, 17 point lead over Senator Ted Cruz’ best effort in the Indiana primary.
In Indiana, Trump is poised to win with about 44 percent of the Republican vote. That number may increase by the time the polls close as 19 percent of registered Indiana Republicans said they were undecided as to which of the candidates they would support. Cruz and Kasich received 17 and 9 percent respectively, according to a Gravis Marketing poll.
Also, Trump is already ensconced in a 34 point lead in the California race, according to a SurveyUSA poll.
There is literally nothing to prevent him from acquiring the delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination in advance of the convention, thereby thwarting Senator Cruz’ plans to force a contested convention in Cleveland.
The sweet smell of a victory wafts in the air for Trump’s faithful. But a bigger problem looms for Trump. It may be one that confounds even Trump, because it is of his own making.
Trump supporters like to talk about “the will of the people” in the discussion about the allocation of delegates in the convoluted electoral process. They point out that Trump has received 10 million votes thus far and is now receiving an average of around 40 percent of the vote in the Republican primaries.
What passionate Trump supporters either don’t understand or recognize or outright ignore is that the 40 percent support for Trump is only within the Republican Party, and the Republican Party is the smaller of the two major parties by a wide margin.
Analysis of a Gallup Poll showed that utter disgust with the major political parties has motivated voters to abandon both parties in droves. At the end of 2014, over 43 percent of voters identified themselves as independents. Approximately 30 percent of the electorate self-identified as Democrats and only 26 percent said they were Republicans.
Successfully wooing the Independent voter will be critical to winning the November election. Trump may have reason for hope, but he has a huge hurdle to overcome. And that is:
Over 52 percent of the voting public have a negative opinion of Donald Trump and have said they couldn’t support him.
Over 70 percent of women find Trump unfavorable. More than 85 percent of Hispanics view him unfavorably. Surprising numbers of Republicans have said they could never vote for Trump, but if the alternative is Hillary Clinton… what will they do?
Furthermore, the Democrats will spend major coin amplifying Trump’s negatives. It’s estimated that 80 percent of opposition research on Donald Trump has not yet been made public. Democrats are expected to begin spending up to $100 million in major swing states to denigrate Trump and derail the Trump Express.
Hillary Clinton will deftly position herself and welcome comments from Trump that will get even more women to dislike him.
In politics, and especially the way Trump plays it, turnabout is fair play. So look for the Republicans to expend as much effort and money doing the same to Hillary. Trump’s saving grace may be that Clinton’s “negatives” are slightly less negative than Trump’s.
Nonetheless, Trump needs to perform major repair work on his negatives. His prospects are not nearly as rosy as his supporters assert when so much of the country regards him so negatively.
Within that context, reconsider the issue of “the will of the people.”
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