CNN Poll: Trump at 10 percent in hypothetical GOP battle
March 23rd, 2011
12:18 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Trump at 10 percent in hypothetical GOP battle

Washington (CNN) - If Donald Trump decides to run for the White House, he would just barely crack double digits in the crowded field of potential GOP candidates, but his entry into the race could hurt former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also indicates that Democrats may have started to close the enthusiasm gap that plagued them in last year's midterm elections.

Ten percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican say they would most likely support Trump for the GOP's 2012 presidential nomination.

That would place him fifth on the list behind former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at 19 percent, former Massachusetts Gov. and 2008 White House hopeful Mitt Romney at 18 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at 12 percent.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who also ran for the Republican nomination in the last presidential election, is at eight percent, with everyone else in the low single digits.

"Adding Trump to the list of potential candidates doesn't change the GOP standings all that much, since Trump seems to pull his support equally from all the other major candidates," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

But what if Trump decides not to run?

"Removing Trump's name from the list and allocating his voters to their second choice gives Huckabee 21 percent and Romney 19 percent - essentially unchanged from January. In a Trump-less field, Gingrich gets 15 percent, up from 10 percent in January, and Paul goes from 7 percent to 11 percent. Palin is the big loser, dropping from 19 percent in a no-Trump round in January to just 13 percent now," adds Holland.

The poll's release comes just a few hours after word that the businessman, real estate giant, and reality TV star, who is seriously considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, will head to Iowa in June to headline a major GOP dinner. Iowa plays a crucial role in the race for the White House, as its caucuses traditionally kick off presidential primary and caucus season.

Trump, who has said he will decide by June on whether he'll run for president, is also scheduled to speak that month at a political event in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary on the road to the White House.

The poll also indicates that 56 percent of Democrats say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in the next election, up 22 points from last October. Sixty-two percent of Republicans say they feel the same way, up 12 points from last October, just before the midterm elections. That means the GOP's 20 point lead on enthusiasm has narrowed to a six point advantage.

In 2008, 79 percent of Democrats said they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting, far ahead of the Republicans. That helped produced a high Democratic turnout that helped sweep President Barack Obama into the White House and widened the party's majorities in Congress. The 20 point enthusiasm advantage for the GOP last year helped the party win back control of the House of Representatives and narrowed the Democrats' majority in the Senate.

"Keep your eye on this measure - it has been a good predictor in the last two election cycles and it may help us figure out what's going on next year as well," adds Holland.

The survey also indicates that just over three quarters of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic say the party should re-nominate Obama next year, with just over one in five saying another Democrat should be the party's nominee. Those numbers are basically unchanged over the past couple of months.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • CNN Polls • Donald Trump
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Bubba

    I'd support Trump right up to the point when I vote for Obama again. He and Palin are my two favorite gops right now.

    March 23, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Kathleen Farrell

    That makes sense – Palin and Trump appealing to the same people.

    March 23, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. TM

    So Trump in the race only hurts Palin, and Trump out of the race changes nothing, and EITHER way Palin loses. HOW IS THIS NEWSWORTHY?!

    ENOUGH with reporting on candidates that CAN'T win.

    March 23, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. FM

    Oh Yah! Trump money speak louder than anything. Do you remember how much the current Pres. used last time and how much he will use this time. Just find out, but I will like to advise you that you better rest your bid, you are not going to make it!

    March 23, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    The ugly air and the airhead together taking votes from others that will NOT win anything anyway. So sad. Not really.
    What a pair of lying, cheating, big ego for no good reason except being bullies these two are!!! 🙂

    March 23, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. TechTalkGuy

    If Trump can 'Screw Gadhafi', then he could screw America.

    I doubt anyone would trust him.

    March 23, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    I hope all of the GO-BP fascists run. I don't see one out of that group that has the potential to be POTUS. I think Donald Trump knows he can't win the presidency, but I suspect he's going to enter the race so none of the other losers can win.

    March 23, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Steve in Denver

    I think Trump's mantra ought to be "I screwed gadafi (and everyone else I dealt with). the Limbaugh/Beck morons would vote for him instantly. The working people on the right seem to love people who screw everyone in sight, never realizing that they are the ones getting screwed.

    Kind of like the poll just taken, where lower income and lower educated groups are the most opposed to health care reform. The ones most likely not to have good employer health plans, the very ones who are most vulnerable to our absurd health "system," are the most opposed to a fix.

    What are these people thinking?

    March 23, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. blarkin

    The GOP presidential lineup is very weak in that 2 of the top early contenders are reality show hosts and the rest are Fox news analists how is the American public to take any of them seriously.Is there not one republican out there with pure political credibility to run who does not start his/her pre election by bowing to the birthers first and come out wth serious comments.

    March 23, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. notogop

    This is a real scary group of people. Trump, a confessed crook; Palin a proven idiot; Gingrich, an adultrous, egomaniac; Huckleberry, a baptist preacher so narrow-minded he doesn't even know what he believes; Paul, a wimp; Rommney, a member of one of the most frightening religions in the country. The GOP really knows how to serve them up. Remember, they gave us Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Wolfowitz, etc. Never underestimate the power of the GOP. They (and Fox) are masters of lies and deceit.

    March 23, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Tim

    Mr. Trump is at 10% and this is before potential rivals even have a chance to remind voters all the reasons why he would be a terrible President. It is amazing to me some of the people that are actually given serious consideration by so called Republicans. I can't even define what a Republican is any longer. It has become such an embarassment to be one. Palin, Bachman and now Trump. What a joke.

    March 23, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. malcolm in St Louis

    this is newsworthy in as much you can see what the Republican party has to offer for leadership. If this is what their system coughs up then my cat produces better quality with her hairballs.

    March 23, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. R.I.P. Damon

    Interesting story, I guess. For a news feed that's so obsessed with Sarah Palin, I still haven't seen any post regarding Bill Maher and his referring to her using a tasteless slang for a female body part. Of course, CNN is mostly interested in stories that reflect negatively on the former governor so no big surprise there.

    March 23, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. JEANNE

    If you did not see the roast of Donald Trump – you should!!!! (especially right wing christians) I would love to see Sarah Palin roasted.

    March 23, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Truth

    It's always leads back to Palin.

    That tells me Palin will be the next President. I can't wait for that woman to stand in front of the corrupt MSM and tell them your lying to the American is over.

    Palin 2012

    March 23, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. annie s

    So essentially, 19% of Republicans voters think a reality TV star should be President. Snookie, where are you???

    March 23, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Lindsey Brutus

    Huckabee is still the man to beat and he isn't even trying yet! If he runs he will win.

    March 23, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. once upon a horse

    I think somehow that gap is closing because more people that actually fell for the GOP fear and mis-information mantra and voted for them see what they REALLY got. And also the lazy Dems that didn't get out and vote also learned a lesson. I would like to thank those who did things like expose the Koch Brothers, the GOP plan to bust unions and the middle class, and allowing to see what Sarah Palin is really about . Voters remorse anyone? Not here!!

    March 23, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Doc

    After proudly boasting about wheeling and dealing with Khadafy ( a known supporter of terrorists and a tyrant), wildly inflating real estate rental prices (scamming), taking Khadafy's (Libya's) money, and then breaking the contract and not returning the monies (theft) how can anyone support him?

    March 23, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. CaliforniaBC

    Dems and moderate independents need to step and vote in 2012 so we do not allow more of these far right, my-way-or-the-highway candidates like Gov Walker of WI into office. I think many people are seeing the consequences of not voting as thse far -right legislators and leaders exert their new;y found power and disregarding everyone else outside of their narrow base.

    March 23, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It looks like he has sewn up support from the birther crowd.

    March 23, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. OtherKevin

    It's simple. You can triple the number of hits in any news article by putting Palin's name in the headline. She's America's favorite political auto accident. People can't help but slow down to watch.

    March 23, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Guest

    I would NOT want Trump as POTUS. Trump is Trump, and the modus oparandi which has made him successful and which he will continue to pursue is "My way or the highway". He is not used to second guessing himself, or working by committee. He is used to being the sole decision maker in all situations, and in being in total control. Nope...he is great at what he does, and has done, but that wouldn't automatically make him a good President.

    March 23, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Tam

    He has more grey matter than Failin' Palin and Michele Bachman, but the brain don't work too good anyway. How entertaining! How scary!

    March 23, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. willie floyd

    After what we've seen since the Reps. came in at the mid-terms, the Dems. enthusiasm will probably soar by the next election. Any Dem. or Indep. who would vote for ANY Rep. will deserve what they get.

    March 23, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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