Most Republican voters consider business mogul Donald Trump their most electable candidate for the 2016 general presidential election, based on a new poll. The survey conducted by Associated Press-GfK shows that voters who skew conservative view Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as the best bets for their party to recapture the Oval Office.
The poll was released on Oct. 26 and was conducted from Oct. 15-19.
The data show that 7 out of 10 Republican voters believe Trump would be their strongest nominee against a Democratic challenger. Close behind is Carson, who is viewed as electable by 6 out of 10 Republicans. Sharing second place with Carson is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is viewed as the most electable establishment candidate, The Associated Press reports.
While 54 percent of GOP voters believe Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida could win a general election, the rest of the crowded field of presidential contenders cannot muster at least half of their electorate’s confidence, according to AP.
The poll also measures each candidate’s likability among Republican voters. Carson leads in this criteria with a 65 percent favorability rating, followed by Trump with 58 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie proves to be the least favorable candidate among Republican voters, AP reports.
Of respondents, 77 percent told the surveyors they want a Republican president who is not an Washington, D.C., insider, and 76 percent say they value private sector experience over those who have held elected office.
While GOP voters remain positive about Trump and Carson, conservative political strategists caution that their party could not win a general election with either candidate. They warn that Trump and Carson have alienated too many demographics, AP reports.
"Republicans think [Democrat] Hillary [Clinton] is weaker than she is,” says Katie Packer, who served as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager in 2012. “They are wrong. They think we don't need to win more women or more Hispanics to win. They're wrong."
Republican strategist John Feehery says Democrats are eager to have Trump secure the Republican nomination so they can slam him with negative ad campaigns nationwide, AP reports.
“They would love him to be our nominee,” cautions Feehery.
The Associated Press-GfK poll was conducted via online interviews with 1,027 U.S. adults. The interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish, had a cooperation rate of 48 percent and have a plus or minus 3.3 percent of sampling error, reports AP.