Republican voters say they want a gutsier GOP nominee than Donald Trump’s, but they’re less thrilled at the idea of supporting someone who has been described as a “white supremacist” and a “dangerous bigot.”
The two poll findings from the latest Pew Research Center survey complement each other.
First, the party base wants a more muscular Trump than the one they’re currently getting. Pew notes that about seven-in-ten Republican voters (71%) say they have a favorable view of Trump, while only about half say they have a favorable view of the current GOP nominee, Mitt Romney. That’s compared with a median of 54% for Romney among Republican voters who have heard of him.
Second, a majority of Republican voters want a more muscular nominee than the one they’re getting. But they aren’t thrilled with a nomination that has been described as a “white supremacist” (57%) and a “dangerous bigot” (55%).
Overall, though, Republicans do like their current nominee, Romney, less than they like Trump: Only a quarter (26%) of the party base says they’re enthusiastic for Romney, with another 13% saying they’re enthusiastic for Romney and 10% saying they’re enthusiastic for Trump.
The survey also found a strong relationship between how strongly GOP voters like Romney and how they like Trump. When Republican voters are asked a scale from 1 (I don’t like Romney at all) to 7 (I like Romney very much) how strongly they like Romney, they are more likely to say they like Trump (2.5) than Romney (2.0).
“It seems to indicate that the GOP party base is less interested in Trump’s personality or campaign strategy than they are in Romney’s ability as a candidate,” said Greg Smith, director of