Trump’s 2012 polling plummets
It appears that “Apprentice” host Donald Trump is no longer all that effectively branded among the top tier of potential 2012 candidates for the GOP presidential nomination.
The real estate mogul tied for fifth place in a Public Policy Polling survey of the 2012 Republican field released Tuesday (pdf). That’s down from first place in PPP’s April survey.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was the leading preferred candidate among Republican voters, with 19 percent support in this week’s survey. He was followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 18 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 13 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 12 percent. Trump tied with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 8 percent.
Those numbers are a long way off from the April 15 survey of the GOP race, which had Trump leading with a comfortable 26 percent of polled support. His closest competitor at the time was Huckabee, who received 17 percent, Romney had 15 percent, Gingrich received 11 percent, Palin had 8 percent and Paul polled 5 percent. (Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann placed last in both surveys.)
So what’s changed for Trump?
For one, Trump’s quest to pressure President Obama to his long-form birth certificate came to an end last month when the White House released the document. Quickly afterward, “birther” speculation in the GOP field, and in the media generally, died down.
PPP’s analysts say the vanishing vogue for birtherism is a key reason behind Trump’s waning GOP support. “Donald Trump had a meteoric rise to the top of the GOP Presidential field and has fallen back down just as quickly,” PPP president Dean Debnam said in his analysis. “Republicans voters burned out on him pretty fast, especially after the birther issue lost some of its potency with the release of President Obama’s birth certificate.”
Following the birth certificate release, the president called Trump inexperienced and made him the laughing stock of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and scrutiny began piling up about Trump’s past as well as his current business dealings.