Republican voters on Donald Trump: no compassion, no problem

Donald Trump AP photo 12_11

Republican voters don’t think Donald Trump is likable. They don’t think he’s compassionate. And many don’t consider him particularly honest.

But he’s overwhelmingly viewed as decisive and competent. And that’s what matters most — at least for now — to Republicans.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that 8 in 10 Republican registered voters call Trump very or somewhat decisive. That’s top in the field for the businessman, whose blunt style was featured for years on reality TV. At the same time, it finds much resistance to him from the country at large.

The poll was taken before he called for a ban on Muslims coming into the United States and does not reflect the furor that has turned some leading Republican figures, at least, against him.

“I wouldn’t give him a 10 on the compassionate scale,” said poll respondent Lisa Barker, 55, of Worcester, Massachusetts, an unaffiliated voter who says she’s all in for Trump. “I’d probably put him in the middle. But I love the fact that he’s decisive.”

She’s not alone.

After rocketing to the front of the Republican pack in the 2016 race for president, he’s stayed there for months with a brash approach that has captivated a healthy slice of the GOP electorate.

People frustrated with the status quo appear to love his style — even when his policies draw condemnation and his facts are wrong. Trump drew widespread criticism from within his own party and from leaders around the world this week after calling for the ban on Muslim entry to the United States.

In the new national survey, three-quarters of Republicans said Trump would have a chance of winning the general election if nominated, significantly more than say so of any other GOP candidate.

“Donald Trump is saying what 95 percent of the people of this country, that belong to this country, that were born and raised in this country, feel and think,” said 83-year-old J.W. Stepp, a registered Republican who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Donald Trump is exactly what this country needs,” Stepp said. “He’s probably the most decisive person in the race.”

But the AP-GfK poll also offers cause for long-term concern for such Trump loyalists.

Beyond Republicans, 58 percent of all Americans have an unfavorable view of him. That’s the worst favorable rating of any candidate in either party, a reminder that decisiveness alone may not be enough to help Trump prevail in next fall’s general election if he represents the GOP on the ballot.

Yet he appears to be well-positioned in his party’s nomination contest, which begins with the Iowa caucuses in less than eight weeks. The early voting contests tend to feature the GOP’s most passionate voters, a small but vocal group that has been excited about Trump’s candidacy.

While Trump is considered the most decisive of the five GOP candidates tested, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz earned the next highest mark with 56 percent calling him very or somewhat decisive. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson had 53 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 52 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 42 percent.

By contrast, just 31 percent of Republican voters say Trump is at least somewhat compassionate, and 43 percent say he is at least somewhat likable. Carson, who’s been slipping in recent polls, is viewed as most compassionate and likable, with 7 in 10 Republican voters saying each word describes him at least somewhat well.

Unfortunately for Carson, likeability isn’t among the most desired attributes among Republicans in this campaign.

Nine in 10 Republican voters say decisiveness and competence are extremely or very important in a candidate for president in 2016, according to the poll. Just 6 in 10 rate compassion as that important, while only half say it’s important for a candidate to be likable.

Nine in 10 Republican voters also say that honesty is an important quality in a presidential candidate, although they’re split on whether that’s a description that applies to Trump.

Fifty-five percent say “honest” describes him very or somewhat well and 43 percent say it describes him only slightly or not at all. Bush, Rubio and Cruz don’t do much better. Carson, by contrast, is viewed as at least somewhat honest by 66 percent of Republican voters.

Trump has repeatedly made false or dubious assertions, such as his debunked claim to have seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the 9/11 attacks. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the Republican electorate, which is deeply skeptical of the media.

Two-thirds of Republican voters believe media coverage is generally biased against Trump, more than say so of the other top candidates. Fifty-four percent say media coverage is biased against Carson, close to half say that about Bush and Cruz, and 40 percent say that about Rubio.


The AP-GfK Poll of 1,007 adults, including 333 Republican and Republican leaning registered voters, was conducted online Dec. 3-7, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Associated Press

One comment

  • Dave Francis

    December 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    If the American voters see any funny business in trying to dislodge Donald Trump from his forward momentum in winning the Presidency–one whisper, one sleight of hand, they will be looking at a mass departure from the GOP establishment. Any wrongdoing by the Party of Ronald Reagan will need resuscitating equipment to win this election. Trump has pledged not to abscond from the Republican Party, but if he is bullied by the elitists he has several avenues to pursue? Why are most of the hierarchies in the party so outraged with Donald Trump, because dissimilar to them he is not stained by corruption as he beyond their reach and cannot be brought and paid for by the rich and powerful donors.

    Trump has a god given right to be the nominee for President. And John Kasich like any of the GOP hard liners ‘Can go to hell” as Lindsey Graham said about Trump. Whatever Trumps character proclaims he has a far decent aura than the personages who have led us into this mess. Former House speaker John Brohner just gave Obama everything he needed, and including an extreme budget, Obamacare and not trying to use the ‘Power of the Congressional Purse’ to end Obamas pursuit’s of his executive orders to end the illegal alien invasion.

    The money placed into Super PAC’s not only enriches the politicians for campaigns as much is used for personal benefits. The top of the league is occupied by Jeb Bush, whose numbers has diminished and Hillary Clinton who seems to be bullet proof, even though she has a growing compendium of potential criminal afflictions. The rest are trailing behind, except for Ted Cruz who has a favorable progression among his supporters. It seems to me money buys anything in Congress, including a politicians vote on the floor–Democrat or Republican.

    We don’t need a ‘Shadow Government’ of corporate and Industrial rich controlling Washington or our politicians. A Trump Administration means that no foreign countries influencing any elected official, or giving lobbyists an inroad of privileges for special interests. People in high places as Hillary Clinton has a sinister side to her, as her and Bill’s Foundation are involved in procuring money whose sources are no so friendly nations.

    My faith in the mainstream media is zero, especially when it’s Corporate and owned by the Leftist wealthy? Just as with the major political parties their opinions come first before the real news. I depend on ‘One American News Network’ on cable, which is free from the spin. Additionally I incorporate my search for the facts at the Canadian Free Press.

    The other very serious issue is to scrutinize illegal aliens voting. It’s a felony. But it’s overlooked by the courts; a slap on the hand in most cases and very little oversight by election committees. Fraudulent elections would have indefinable consequences on our Democracy. Non citizens voting in tight races could have an effect of an official losing when the votes are counted. People have cheated the system by voting in two different counties, even states. We should all be nervous specifically with absentee ballots and even manipulated electronic voting machines

    Obama thinks that every preferential executive order is Constitutional, which just goes to show his incompetent temperament. He has ignored the edicts of the Constitution. Other than that his advisers, along with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi need to be certified and place in an insane asylum. King Obama has failed to name the ISIS terrorists, his refusal in sealing our borders, using E-Verify so it’s a MANDATORY instrument. These are what both political parties could have achieved. These are loopholes that would eventually stop the hiring illegal aliens? How quickly foreign nationals will leave when no jobs is available and company owners are punished? Both major parties have a agenda to bring in either cheap labor or for Democrats more future voters.

    I don’t trust Obamas government, as they seem aligned more so with different Muslim organizations that has been exposed as dissidents. By intimidation they intend to control our rights to weapons of any sort. I have taken some precautions for my family’s protection by buying a handgun. As a sergeant first class from prior wars never thought I would need a handgun, but that is in the works now. I do have in my possession a couple of rifles and a shot gun, sitting in a gun safe, but small handy pistol is more practical for household defense. Take into consideration that this President released from prison thousands of illegal aliens, who at this time will be protected in ‘Sanctuary Cities’, but still walking the streets and not deported. Many are violent felons and committed numerous heinous crimes and walking our streets of your neighborhood.

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