New CNN telephone poll, Trump in the lead
First major post-debate telephone poll, like online polls, shows that Trump’s lead increased after the debate (to 24%) and Jeb Bush’s support decreased (to 13%).
Perhaps even more significant, when asked which candidate can best handle the economy, illegal immigration, and ISIS [the Islamic State], Trump’s lead increases to 45%, 44%, and 32%. This indicates that people think that Trump is actually a better candidate that the 24% number but they are unwilling to support him because they think he has a worse chance of winning the general election. Only 38% of voters think that Republicans have a better chance with Trump, and 58% think they have a better chance with someone else.
So I think this indicates that Trump’s support will increase as people become more comfortable with the idea of President Trump and stop thinking that Trump, for some reason, has a worse chance in the general election than Jeb Bush. James Carville famously said “it’s the economy stupid,” and with 45% of Republicans thinking that Trump can handle the economy better than any other candidate, that’s a strong indication that Trump can actually win.
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Also remember that some of the opposition to Trump comes from hardcore anti-abortion Republicans, and they are not going to vote for Jeb Bush (who also thinks that women who are raped should be able to have an abortion) but will split between more hardcore conservatives like Cruz, Huckabee, Walker, and Santorum, and their votes will not be a factor in deciding the nomination.
Also, 80% of Americans think that a woman who was raped should be able to obtain an abortion, and a candidate who is on the record for saying otherwise would be eviscerated by the mainstream media on that issue and lose to the Democrat. This means that Walker is out as a realistic candidate even if you like his other positions.