Republicans Beginning to Actually Like Donald Trump

The CW about Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy is that it’s an artifice of a big attention-getting celebrity in a huge scattered field, which makes it possible for anyone well-known and getting attention to move into first place temporarily. Most Republicans can’t stand The Donald, and he’ll fade as voters get serious about the nomination contest. He’s Herman Cain with bad hair.

A new ABC/WaPo poll doesn’t exactly support the CW. The horse-race numbers haven’t been released yet, which is fine by me because they aren’t terribly meaningful at this point. But Trump’s favorable/unfavorable ratings among Republicans have turned around very strongly.

As WaPo’s Craighill and Clement explain it at The Fix:

Donald Trump’s popularity has surged among Republicans after dominating several news cycles with his anti-illegal immigration rhetoric, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Nearly six in 10 — 57 percent — Republicans now have a favorable view of Trump, compared to 40 percent who have an unfavorable one. That marks a complete reversal from a late-May Post-ABC poll, in which 65 percent of Republicans saw Trump unfavorably.

Unfortunately for Team Anybody But Trump, non-Republicans still ain’t buying it:

Trump continues to be unpopular among the public at large, with negative marks outpacing positive ones 61-33. “Strongly unfavorable” views outnumber strongly positive ratings by a 3-1 ratio.

And then there’s this:

Trump’s unfavorable ratings among Hispanics rose sharply from 60 percent in May to 81 percent now. His favorable ratings are 13 percent among Hispanics, little changed from the previous survey.

I’m one of a number of progressive gabbers who keep wondering why the other 16 presidential candidates are more or less leaving Trump alone, to the point of joking that maybe he has nekkid pictures of them. Perhaps a plan is coming into place where someone not obviously tied to a candidate begins to pound Trump for his past Democratic contributions and policy positions, not to mention his bankruptcies (Republicans by and large aren’t real big fans of second chances, much less third). He’s even made the supreme mistake of complimenting Barack Obama, which in conservativeland is sort of the Sin Against the Holy Ghost.

Whatever the plan or the lack thereof, it’s becoming clear the Trump Problem just might not take care of itself If not, some of his unpopularity among non-Republicans will eventually rub off on Republicans.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.