In what could be a major challenge to the leaders of the Republican Party, a new poll shows that the grassroots overwhelmingly want the nominee to be the winner of the primary voting process — not a convention process.
In all, 62 percent of GOP voters say in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
that the GOP presidential candidate with the most votes should be the party’s nominee. That's even if no candidate wins a majority of delegates before the convention.
That poll also found that 33 percent of Republicans also think the candidate selected by convention delegates should be the nominee.
Also, 38 percent of Republicans said it’s fine with them if GOP front-runner Donald Trump has the most delegates before the convention, but does not become the nominee.
But self-identified GOP voters are split on whether it’s OK for Trump to run as an independent if he loses the nomination, with 45 percent saying it’s fine with them and 47 percent saying it’s unacceptable.
More than half, 55 percent,
said it’s acceptable if Sen. Ted Cruz wins the nomination at a contested convention.
Almost three-quarters of Republicans, 71 percent, say it’s unacceptable for delegates to choose a nominee who hasn’t run in the primaries.
Overall, presidential candidates who're the most popular with voters aren't their parties' front-runners, the shows.
The poll shows Hillary Clinton showing a particularly steep dip in favorability since last month.
Here's the breakdown of "net favorability" - the difference between those holding a positive view and those with a negative view.
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 12 percent
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 9 percent
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: -23 percent
- Hillary Clinton: -24 percent
- Donald Trump: -41 percent
And here's how the positive-negative scores line up:
- Kasich: 31 percent positive, 19 percent negative
- Sanders: 45 percent positive, 36 percent negative
- Cruz: 26 percent positive, 49 percent negative
- Clinton: 32 percent positive, 56 percent negative
- Trump: 24 percent positive, 65 percent negative
NBC News reports Trump's net favorability is a historic low for a major presidential candidate in the polling, while Clinton's underwater favorability is almost twice as wide as last month, when 51 percent viewed her negatively and 38 percent positively. This 13-point gap, the Journal reports, comes as Sanders racks up a string of victories in primaries and caucuses.
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