by Ashley MedinaMonmouth University Polling Institute graduate assistant
Recently, the political divide within the Republican Party became even more evident when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement expressing that he is “not ready” to endorse Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. However, the Speaker’s unwillingness to endorse the billionaire may hurt his own political career as opposed to that of the presidential candidate.
Trump and some of his supporters have voiced strong positions concerning the issue of Ryan’s statement but what does the greater electorate think? Results from a recent (5/6-9) YouGov/Economist Poll cite that two out of three voters who participated (or plan to participate) in the GOP primaries and caucuses believe that Ryan should endorse Trump.
Personal differences aside, Ryan now has to measure how the general Republican base’s attitudes and allegiances will affect his standing. Keeping in mind the tremendous popular support the billionaire has been able to cultivate, it may be in Ryan’s best interest to officially support the candidate if he would like to maintain favor among the Republican electorate.
As the political climate stands now, Republican voters are actually more likely to side with Trump who among all American voters, is viewed favorably by only 30% and unfavorably by 64%. By comparison, Ryan is viewed somewhat more positively, with 34% of US voters viewing him favorably and 38% unfavorably.
Ryan may be better liked than Trump among all voters, but among Republicans only, two out of three actually have positive views of Trump. Should Trump mobilize his supporters against the Speaker, Ryan is likely to face political ramifications for his recent statements. This, along with the fact 49% of GOP voters disapprove of what Ryan has done as Speaker of the House, may motivate him to “get ready” sooner rather than later to support the presumptive presidential nominee.