Trump Takes Big GOP Lead, But Plummets After McCain Remarks


Today brings the latest presidential poll from the fine folks at ABC News and the Washington Post. The big news is that Hillary Clinton has maintained her 63-14 percent lead over Bernie Sanders.

Just kidding! I know you don’t care about that. You want to know what’s going on over in GOP-ville. Your answer is in the chart on the right. Walker and Bush have both gained slightly over the last month, but nearly every other candidate has lost support. And where has that support gone? To Donald Trump, of course. But then there’s this:

How long the Trump surge lasts is an open question; this poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, mostly before his controversial criticism Saturday of Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero. And Trump’s support was conspicuously lower Sunday than in the three previous days.

In a hypothetical three-way matchup between Clinton, Bush, and Trump, Trump’s support was 21 percent from Thursday to Saturday, vs. 13 percent in Sunday interviews.

There’s no telling how this plays out. If Trump implodes—and he will eventually, even if his McCain comments don’t do the trick—it’s likely that his supporters will shift to tea-party conservatives: Huckabee, Cruz, Perry, maybe Rubio, and probably Walker. But not Bush.

Or….well, who knows? ABC News tells us that Trump’s support dropped in Sunday interviews, but they don’t tell us who that support shifted to. We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe Bush will come out of this better than I think.