Townhall Media and Hot Air commissioned a national poll from Survey Monkey, with whom NBC News has partnered
this election cycle. Our colleague Ed Morrissey offers a full demographic breakdown of the 1,783 respondents HERE
, as well as an explanation of the organization's methodology. The partisan sample was D+10. Results, starting on the Republican side:
accordance with other national polling
Donald Trump leads the primary battle among self-identified Republican voters, with 29 percent support. Ben Carson is in second place (10.45 percent), followed by Jeb Bush (9.59 percent), Marco Rubio (6.40 percent), and Carly Fiorina (5.97 percent). John Kasich and Ted Cruz are in the four percent neighborhood, with Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Scott Walker
at or below two percent support. This poor performance from Walker appears to be an outlier
, but keep an eye on that trend. When you factor in independents' GOP primary preferences, Trump maintains a large lead, though a plurality of respondents remain undecided:
We decided to poll hypothetical head-to-head match-ups within the GOP primary to see how Donald Trump would fare against several top rivals if the nominating contest boiled down to a two-person race. Among Republicans, Trump would beat Jeb Bush (53/47), Scott Walker (58/42), Marco Rubio (52/48), Ted Cruz (57/43), and Carly Fiorina (52/48). Only Ben Carson tops Trump within the GOP electorate, (52/48). We also asked independents whom they'd support for the GOP nomination in these hypothetical head-to-head scenarios. Trump loses every one of those battles by double digits, with the exception of a tie with Ted Cruz and a relatively close loss to Walker.
Just 22 percent of all respondents agree that "Donald Trump has the temperament to be President of the United States," with 63 percent saying he does not. Republicans are roughly split on this question, while Democrats (82 percent) and Independents (63 percent) overwhelmingly responded in the negative. This reflects Quinnipiac's swing state findings
from last week.
In a troublesome sign for Jeb Bush, the public appears poised to hold his family history against him. We asked, "does having two previous Bush presidents make you more or less likely to vote for Jeb?" Fully 45 percent of respondents said the legacy issue would make them less likely to pull the lever for Jeb, with fewer than ten percent calling it a plus. Forty-one percent said the issue wouldn't influence their vote one way or the other. Bush is narrowly upside-down on this question among Republicans (16/24), and fares much worse with Democrats (4/61) and Independents (6/47).
Over on the Democratic side of the ledger, Hillary Clinton's national primary lead over Bernie Sanders has grown perilously thin. The former Secretary of State edges the self-described Socialist by just six percentage points (38 to 32 percent). Vice President Joe Biden, rumored to be considering a run
, clocks in at 13 percent. All other contenders are afterthoughts, attracting less than one percent of the vote apiece. Sixteen percent of self-described Democrats declare themselves undecided:
With her favorable ratings and honesty numbers on the wane
in a series of polls, we asked whether Mrs. Clinton is seen as an empathetic figure who "cares about people like you." This is a measure on which Democrats typically hold a significant advantage over Republicans, and on which Barack Obama leveled Mitt Romney
in 2012. Forty-six percent of poll respondents said that Clinton does not care about people like them; 36 percent said the opposite. A ten-point empathy gap. Among Independents, the phenomenon is even more pronounced: Just 26 percent of that swing group believe Hillary cares, with a 53 percent majority saying she does not care about people like them.
Jobs and the economy are the most important issue to a plurality of voters across the political spectrum, followed by national security, income inequality (fueled mostly by Democrats), the federal budget/debt, and healthcare. Despite weeks of intense focus on immigration within the Republican primary debate, the issue ranks near the bottom of overall voters' priority list, just ahead of abortion and same-sex marriage, which comes in dead last:
Ed has additional data points from our survey over at Hot Air