Donald Trump, the real estate developer-turned-reality-television star who promotes his business acumen as he ponders a U.S. presidential campaign, is a bust with global investors.
By 68 percent to 14 percent, the billionaire is viewed unfavorably by respondents in a Bloomberg Global Poll of investors, analysts and traders. In the U.S., where Trump is more widely known, his unfavorable rating climbs to 79 percent, while those viewing him favorably rises to 17 percent.
“The last thing this country needs is an uber-political, self-serving, egomaniacal media junkie whose all-sizzle-no-steak approach to life and politics only distracts us all from the real issues and problems of our country,” said poll respondent Douglas Schoninger, 50, president of DJS Capital Management Inc. in New York.
President Barack Obama was rated favorably by 55 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 41 percent in the quarterly poll taken May 9-10 of 1,263 Bloomberg customers. The numbers for two other, less-known potential Republican challengers to Obama weren’t as good as the president’s and weren’t as negative as Trump’s. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was rated favorably by 25 percent of respondents, unfavorably by 28 percent. For Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the breakdown was 12 percent favorable, 27 percent unfavorable.
Trump, 64, who boasts of his business success and wealth, drew criticism from some poll respondents for reviving questions about whether Obama was born in the U.S. In the wake of Trump spotlighting the issue, Obama sought to settle it last month by releasing a copy of the long-form of his birth certificate showing he was born in Hawaii.
Trump, the star of the NBC reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice,” also has questioned the president’s school grades, suggesting Obama may have gotten special treatment to gain admission to colleges, including Harvard Law School.
“I don’t really want to see candidates trying to win because of fringe arguments,” said poll respondent Michael Enriquez, 35, director of institutional equity trading at National Alliance Capital Markets Group in Austin, Texas.
“In all his blubbering I never really saw him lay out a plan for the future of this country, which I believe is on a dire path due to the amount of debt,” Enriquez said. “There are many other issues he could’ve engaged debate on with President Obama.”
Michael Cohen, a spokesman for Trump, said, “I emphatically disagree with any poll results that would question the national or international value of the Trump mark.”
Cohen, an executive at the Trump Organization, said he is working on business deals in several countries on behalf of Trump and the organization’s associates. “How could you not have a favorable opinion if, technically, we are being looked at at every country in the world” for business deals, he said.
Trump has made the U.S. economy, job creation and debt the mainstays of his discussions, Cohen said. Trump also has said that as president he would stop China and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries from taking advantage of the U.S.
“The birth certificate and other requests were secondary, but pushed to the forefront by the media for sensationalistic purposes,” Cohen said.
Trump said in a May 1 interview that he had decided “in my mind” to run for president, though he wouldn’t make an official announcement until after the May 22 season finale of his TV show.
Poll respondent James T. Vanasek, 41, principal at VN Capital Management LLC in New York, called Trump’s presidential exploration a “sideshow.”
“His so-called presidential bid is merely another way to garner publicity ahead of his upcoming new season of the ‘Apprentice,’ and should not be taken seriously by anyone,” Vanasek said.
Trump has an unfavorable rating of 62 percent with investors, traders and analysts in Europe. In Asia, where he is lesser known, it is 53 percent. The poll has a margin of error for its entire sample group of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
Referring to the birth certificate dispute, J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co, the Des Moines, Iowa-based firm that conducted the poll, said, “Trump picked an issue to fight about that could be verified in fact, and he didn’t come out on the winning end.”
Among those who have a favorable opinion of Trump is poll respondent Carl Frietsch, 52, senior vice president at American Bank of Texas in Sherman, Texas.
“As he has the business acumen to manage big business, he should certainly have the experience to manage the biggest of business -- the USA,” he said.
A recent poll of Republican-leaning voters also showed Trump’s popularity slipping. In the survey by Public Policy Polling, Trump dropped from first place in April to a tie for fifth place this month among eight potential Republican candidates.
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