Donald Trump: From no-hoper to Republican favourite, despite gaffes

From Agence France-Presse

Donald Trump
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Bombastic US billionaire Donald Trump handily leads all fellow Republicans in the 2016 presidential race, but Hillary Clinton and other Democrats trump him in head-to-head matchups, a poll said Thursday.

Trump plunged into the crowded Republican nomination battle last month, and has since uttered insults about Mexican immigrants and caustic jabs at rivals that has kept campaign media attention focused squarely on the trash-talking real estate mogul.

He now leads the 17-candidate Republican field with 20 percent support.

Following him were conservative Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 13 percent and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two presidents, with 10 percent, according to a national survey by Quinnipiac University.

No other Republican topped six percent.

Trump’s negatives are sky-high, however. He led the “no way” list, with 30 percent of Republicans saying they definitely would not support him.

“They love him and they hate him,” said Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Tim Malloy.

“He is on fire in his own party,” but Clinton would “crush him” and other Democrats including Vice President Joe Biden, who is not even a candidate, would prevail against Trump, Malloy told AFP.

“So he’s running away with it on one side but if today were election day, Donald Trump would not be president.”

Ex-secretary of state Clinton leads rival Democrats overwhelmingly with 55 percent support among Democratic voters, according to the poll.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is second with 17 percent, while Biden earns 13 percent.

All three lead Trump in hypothetical matchups, with Clinton the furthest ahead at 48-36 percent, according to Quinnipiac.


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