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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Non-Trump Republicans Want Different Nominee Even If He Leads

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Candidate bears some responsibility for violence at rallies

West Long Branch, NJ – The Monmouth University Poll finds that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton maintain their substantial leads in national voter preferences for their respective parties’ nominations.  There are some rumblings on the Republican side, though, with many non-Trump supporters favoring a different outcome at the convention – and many Trump supporters not willing to stick by a nominee who isn’t their guy.  The poll also found that most voters nationally feel that Trump bears at least some responsibility for the violence that has broken out at his rallies, although this opinion breaks along partisan lines.

For the Republican nomination, Donald Trump has the support of 41% of GOP partisans and leaners.  Ted Cruz garners 29% support and John Kasich has 18% support.  Trump’s support has held fairly steady over the past few months – it was 36% in January and 41% in December.  Cruz’s support has doubled since December, when it stood at 14%.  Kasich’s support has increased exponentially from the 3% he held just a few months ago.

Trump has strong backing among men – 50%, compared to 23% for Cruz and 18% for Kasich – while women are divided – 35% for Cruz, 31% for Trump, and 19% for Kasich.  Republicans without a college degree prefer Trump – 47%, compared to 26% for Cruz and 14% for Kasich – while college graduates are almost evenly split – 33% for Cruz, 31% for Trump, and 28% for Kasich.  Trump wins among moderate voters – 49%, to 25% for Kasich and 18% for Cruz – and among somewhat conservative voters – 39%, to 22% for Cruz and 20% for Kasich.  However, Cruz is narrowly preferred by very conservative voters – 44%, to 37% for Trump and 12% for Kasich.

A majority of all Republican voters (54%) say that the party should get behind Trump as the nominee if he has the most delegates but not enough for a first round ballot victory.  Another 34% would like to see the convention nominate someone else in this case.  Among the group of GOP voters who do not currently support Trump, most (55%) want to see someone other than Trump get nominated at a contested convention compared to 31% who say that the party should back Trump.  Among those mentioned as possible nominees by voters who would like to see someone other than Trump nominated are Cruz (33%), Kasich (23%), Marco Rubio (10%), Ben Carson (5%), Mitt Romney (4%), Jeb Bush (3%), and Paul Ryan (2%).

If the party decides to nominate someone else even though Trump holds the most delegates, only 43% of Trump supporters say they would commit to backing that nominee in November.  Another 13% would vote for an independent or third party candidate, 7% would vote for the Democratic nominee, 27% say they would not vote at all, and 10% of Trump supporters are unsure what they would do.

“A majority of non-Trump supporters seem to be in favor of a brokered convention process at this point in the campaign.  That would probably throw the party into turmoil with many Trump supporters abandoning the party,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The Monmouth University Poll also asked all registered voters about recent confrontations at Trump rallies between protesters and supporters of the candidate.  Nearly all voters have heard about these incidents – 60% have heard a lot and 35% have heard a little.  Voters are divided on who is to blame for the violence that has occurred during these confrontations – 26% blame the protesters, 23% blame Trump supporters, and 44% say both sides are equally to blame.  A majority of Republicans (54%) put most of the blame on anti-Trump protesters, while only 5% of Democrats feel the same.

Most voters (57%), though, say that Trump himself bears at least some responsibility for creating an atmosphere where these clashes occur, including 39% who say he bears a lot of responsibility and 18% who say he bears at least some of the responsibility.  This compares to 40% who say Trump is not at all responsible for what has happened among attendees at his rallies.  Not surprisingly, Democratic voters (81%) are the most likely to say that Trump is responsible for creating an atmosphere where these incidents occur.  A majority of independents (53%) also feel this way, but only 35% of Republicans agree.

Turning to the Democratic nomination contest, the poll found that a majority of voters (55%) who identify or lean toward the Democratic Party prefer Hillary Clinton as the nominee, compared to 37% who support Bernie Sanders.  These results are basically unchanged from January when Clinton held a 52% to 37% lead over Sanders.  Clinton has the advantage among both female (59% to 32%) and male (51% to 44%) Democrats.  She also enjoys solid support from traditional Democratic identifiers (61% to 31% for Sanders) and voters age 50 and older (69% to 22%).

Sanders is still getting more support than Clinton from leaning Democratic voters (56% to 37% for Clinton) and voters under 50 years old (54% to 39%).  Two-thirds of Sanders supporters say they would definitely (28%) or probably (37%) vote for Clinton in November if she became the nominee, but with their candidate still in the hunt, another 11% say they probably would not vote for Clinton and 20% say they definitely would not vote for her if she became the nominee.

“The Democratic campaign is still being waged, so it will take a little bit of time before the dust settles and we see if all sides unite behind the eventual nominee,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 17 to 20, 2016 with 1,008 adults in the United States.  This release is based on a sample of 848 registered voters and has a margin of error of ±3.4 percent. The subsample of 391 registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party has a margin of error of ±5.0 percent.  The subsample of 353 registered voters who identify themselves as Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party has a margin of error of ±5.2 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

DATA TABLES

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

 

ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS WHO IDENTIFY AS DEMOCRATS OR LEAN TOWARDS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY; n= 391, moe= +5.0%

 

  1. Who do you support for the Democratic nomination for president – [NAMES WERE ROTATED]?
  March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015

Sept.
2015

Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Hillary Clinton 55% 52% 59% 57% 42% 52% 51% 57% 60%
Bernie Sanders 37% 37% 26% 24% 20% 16% 17% 12% 7%
(VOL) Other 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0%
Joe Biden

n/a

n/a n/a

n/a

22% 12% 13% 12% 16%
Lincoln Chafee

n/a

n/a

n/a

1% 0% 0% 0% 0%

n/a

Larry Lessig

n/a

n/a

n/a

1%

n/a

n/a n/a

n/a

n/a

Martin O’Malley

n/a

2% 4% 1% 1% 2% 1% 1% 2%
Jim Webb

n/a

n/a

n/a

1% 1% 2% 1% 2% 1%
(VOL) No one 2% 4% 3% 4% 4% 3% 2% 2% 2%
(VOL) Undecided 6% 4% 8% 12% 10% 11% 15% 14% 12%
Unwtd N

391

352 374 340 339 429 357 350

356

 

[The following question was asked of Sanders voters only; n=127, moe=+/-8.7%]

  1. If Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee, would you definitely, probably, probably not, or definitely not vote for her in November?
SANDERS VOTERS March
2016
Definitely 28%
Probably 37%
Probably not 11%
Definitely not 20%
(VOL) Don’t know 3%

 

ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS WHO IDENTIFY AS REPUBLICAN OR LEAN TOWARDS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY; n= 353, moe= +5.2%

 

  1. Who do you support for the Republican nomination for president – [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
  March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Donald Trump 41% 36% 41% 28% 30% 26% 13% 2% 7%
Ted Cruz 29% 17% 14% 10% 8% 6% 9% 5% 11%
John Kasich 18% 3% 3% 1% 2% 3% 1% 1% 1%
(VOL) Other 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%
Jeb Bush

n/a

5% 3% 5% 8% 12% 15% 9% 13%
Ben Carson

n/a

8% 9% 18% 18% 5% 6% 11% 7%
Chris Christie

n/a

3% 2% 3% 2% 4% 2% 4% 5%
Carly Fiorina

n/a

1% 2% 6% 4% 2% 1% 2% 1%
Jim Gilmore

n/a

0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

n/a

n/a

Lindsey Graham

n/a

n/a

1% 1% 0% 1%

<1%

2% 1%
Mike Huckabee

n/a

3% 2% 4% 4% 6% 7% 8% 9%
Bobby Jindal

n/a

n/a

n/a

1%

<1%

1% 2% 1% 1%
George Pataki

n/a

n/a

1%

<1%

<1% <1% <1% <1%

<1%

Rand Paul

n/a

2% 2% 4% 2% 4% 6% 6% 6%
Rick Perry

n/a

n/a

n/a n/a

1%

2% 2% 4% 5%
Marco Rubio

n/a

11% 10% 6% 5% 4% 6% 9% 5%
Rick Santorum

n/a

1%

<1%

0% 0% 1% 2% 3% 1%
Scott Walker

n/a

n/a

n/a n/a

3%

11% 7% 10% 11%
(VOL) No one 5% 2% 2% 3% 2% 1% 1% 2% 2%
(VOL) Undecided 4% 8% 6% 9% 9% 10% 18% 20% 14%
(n)

353

385 385 348 366 423 336 351

355

 

  1. Donald Trump may get the most delegates during the primaries, but not enough to win the nomination on the first round of balloting at the national convention. It is possible that a different candidate could win the nomination in later rounds of balloting. If this is the case, would you rather see the Republican Party get behind Trump, or would you rather see the convention nominate a different person for president?
  March
2016
Get behind Trump 54%
Nominate a different person 34%
(VOL) Depends on who the other person is 5%
(VOL) Don’t know 7%

 

[The following question was asked of those who would rather nominate a person other than Trump; n=147, moe=+/-8.1%]

4A. Who would you like to see the convention nominate instead?  [LIST WAS NOT READ]

  March
2016
Ted Cruz 33%
John Kasich 23%
Marco Rubio 10%
Ben Carson 5%
Mitt Romney 4%
Jeb Bush 3%
Paul Ryan 2%
Other 1%
(VOL) Don’t know 18%

 

[The following question was asked of Trump voters only; n=131, moe=+/-8.6%]

  1. If the Republican Party convention nominates someone other than Donald Trump even if he had the most delegates, what would you do in November – vote for the Republican nominee, vote for the Democratic nominee, vote for an independent or third party candidate, or not vote for president at all?
TRUMP VOTERS March
2016
Vote for the Republican nominee 43%
Vote for the Democratic nominee 7%
Vote for an independent 13%
Not vote for president 27%
(VOL) Don’t know 10%

 

ASKED OF ALL REGISTERED VOTERS; n= 848, moe= +3.4%

 

[Q6-12 held for future release.]

 

  1. How much have you seen or heard about the confrontations with protesters at Donald Trump rallies – a lot, a little, or not at all?

 

 

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE RACE

 

Registered
Voter

Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+

White, non-
Hispanic

Other
A lot 60% 60% 58% 63% 63% 57% 60% 56% 65% 62% 57%
A little 35% 37% 36% 33% 32% 38% 35% 41% 30% 35% 34%
Not at all 4% 3% 5% 3% 4% 4% 4% 4% 5% 2% 8%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 0% 1% 1% 0% 1% 1% 0% 1% 1% 1%

 

[Questions 14 was asked of those who have heard about the confrontations; n=817, moe=+/-3.4%]

  1. Who do you think is more at fault for any violence that has occurred – the people who are supporting Trump or the people who are protesting Trump, or are they equally to blame?

 

 

PARTY ID

GENDER AGE

RACE

 

Registered
Voter

Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+

White, non-
Hispanic

Other
People supporting Trump 23% 3% 25% 39% 24% 22% 26% 22% 22% 19% 33%
People protesting Trump 26% 54% 25% 5% 33% 20% 19% 27% 29% 31% 12%
Equally to blame 44% 38% 42% 49% 39% 48% 51% 41% 43% 42% 50%
(VOL) Don’t know 7% 5% 8% 7% 4% 10% 4% 10% 6% 8% 5%

 

[Questions 15 was asked of those who have heard about the confrontations; n=817, moe=+/-3.4%]

  1. Is Donald Trump personally responsible for creating an atmosphere where this occurs, or is he really not responsible? [If RESPONSIBLE:  Does he have a lot or just a little responsibility?]

 

 

PARTY ID

GENDER AGE

RACE

 

Registered

Voter

Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+

White, non-Hispanic

Other
Yes, responsible a lot 39% 16% 36% 62% 37% 42% 41% 34% 44% 34% 51%
Yes, responsible a little 13% 14% 11% 14% 12% 14% 15% 12% 13% 14% 12%
Yes, responsible but not sure how much 5% 5% 6% 5% 4% 6% 4% 6% 5% 5% 6%
No, not responsible 40% 65% 43% 15% 46% 33% 37% 44% 36% 43% 30%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 1% 4% 4% 1% 5% 2% 4% 3% 4% 0%

 

[Q16-25 previously released.]

 

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from March 17 to 20, 2016 with a national random sample of 1,008 adults age 18 and older.  This includes 656 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 352 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample).  The results in this poll release are based on a subsample of 848 registered voters.  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted) 

FULL SAMPLE - ALL ADULTS

49% Male

31% 18-34

67% White

51% Female

36% 35-54

12% Black

 

32% 55+

14% Hispanic

   

      7% Asian/Other

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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