Poll shows Trump leads among Georgia Republicans

| August 6, 2015

Georgia Politics

ATLANTA — Billionaire Donald Trump holds a double-digit lead over his nearest rival in the GOP presidential primary, according to a FOX 5/Morris News Poll.

The real estate mogul and reality TV star received 30 percent, the largest support of 16 Republican candidates, in a survey conducted by OpinionSavvy/InsiderAdvantage this month of 569 likely Republican presidential primary voters.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in second with 17 percent.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson trailed him with 10 percent, followed by former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee with 7 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 6 percent, and Wis. Gov. Scott Walker with 5 percent.

Registering 3 percent were N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Ky. Sen. Rand Paul, and Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio.

La. Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry both received 2 percent.

“The other candidates have quite a bit of ground to make up over the next few months. It should be noted that Trump does appear to suffer from a gender gap in Georgia, where men support him by about 10 points more than female voters do,” said InsiderAdvantage founder Matt Towery.

He noted that Bush enjoys equal support from men and women, a pattern that extends across the South.

In addition to a gender gap in Trump’s support, young voters also showed little interest in him. Only 5.5 percent of the age group made up of 18-to-29-year-olds picked the provocative candidate.

In contrast to Trump’s weak appeal among the young, nearly 23 percent of voters the youngest voters favored Bush, while 22 percent supported Carson.

The youngest voters were also disproportionately undecided.
Overall, 4 percent of respondents were undecided. Among the 18-to-29-year-old group, however, it was more than 15 percent.

In Georgia, three other candidates were included in the poll but received zero percent: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. None of the three had done well enough in earlier surveys to qualify for Thursday’s Fox News debate.

Weak numbers for Perry, Fiorina and Jindal also rendered them ineligible to participate in the 10-candidate debate.

In South Carolina, the gap between Trump and Bush was more pronounced, where Trump received 31 percent and Bush was his closest rival at 14 percent.

“The general theme was that Mr. Trump is running as strong or stronger in Southern states when compared to his standing in national polls,” said Towery.

“Georgia proved to be the perfect example, given that in several states other than Georgia, strong home state candidates were also in the survey.”

Michael Smith, communications director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, said it ultimately doesn’t matter which Republican candidate becomes the GOP presidential nominee.

“They all stand for the same thing,” said Smith.

“They’re all using the recycled playbook that benefits the folks a the top while hurting the middle class.”

Calling the jostling among such a large number of Republican presidential candidates “a bad melodrama,” Smith said it’s difficult to speculate about what’s driving the real estate mogul’s support among Republican voters.

“It may be that a lot of his appeal comes from the fact that Donald Trump is actually saying out loud what the rest of the candidates haven’t said or have only said privately.”

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