Despite his apparent reference to Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly’s menses, billionaire Donald Trump is still running away with the Republican nomination race, holding a double-digit lead over Jeb Bush in a new, national Ipsos/Reuters poll. Among self-identified Republicans, Trump trounces Jeb Bush, 24 percent to 12 percent.
Though one can discount early national polls to a degree (Rudy Giuliani was once a national frontrunner, after all), the post-debate results in Iowa and New Hampshire – home to the first caucus and primary, respectively – do reflect the national trend.
The Donald is the first choice of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa, according to a new poll from Suffolk University. Trump leads the field with 16.6 percent support, besting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s 12 percent. Trump’s key to victory may be a crowded field. “It appears that Donald Trump’s lead is strong so long as the number of active opponents remains above a dozen,” said David Paleologos, who directs the university’s Political Research Center in Boston.
Did the brouhaha over Trump’s “blood” comments damage his credibility? Less than a third of Republicans in Iowa believe “Donald Trump doesn’t show appropriate respect for women,” while more than 45 percent agree with the statement “Criticism of Donald Trump’s comments about women are just examples of political correctness.”
Trump also leads the latest New Hampshire poll of likely GOP primary voters, beating Jeb Bush 19 percent to 13 percent. (The survey, conducted by Franklin Pierce University and The Boston Herald, has some good news for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is a strong third, at 12 percent.)
If there’s a downside for Americans enthralled by the endless summer spectacle of Trump’s campaign, it’s that questions about The Donald’s emotional integrity loom large in voters’ minds. A full 41 percent of New Hampshire voters sympathetic to Trump’s ideas also “don’t think he has the temperament to be President.”