Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is once again leaving the door open to a third-party run.
Trump told ABC's Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on their daytime talk show that he might pursue a run if the Republican Party doesn't treat him right.
"The people, the Republican Party, have been -- the people -- have been phenomenal," Trump said. "The party — I'll let you know about that. And if I don't get treated fairly, I would certainly consider that."
Trump could severely hinder the chances of a GOP candidate from winning the White House.
According to CNN,
the move is classic Trump:
"No matter how thoroughly Republicans trash him, he won't change course because he knows the party needs him as much as or more than he needs it," CNN reported.
Trump's GOP foes, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham excoriated the real estate mogul, but none in the party have disavowed him.
Trump was following up on a tweet Tuesday where he acknowledged his supporters would follow him anywhere.
Sixty-eight percent of voters would back Donald Trump if he left the Republican Party and ran as an independent, a new survey showed.
The results were part of a USA Today/Suffolk University poll
released Tuesday showing the billionaire strongly ahead of the current GOP field.
They also come as Trump has waffled about mounting an independent run if he did not win the Republican nomination.
The survey showed:
- Trump: 27 percent.
- Ted Cruz: 17 percent.
- Marco Rubio: 16 percent.
- Ben Carson: 10 percent.
- Jeb Bush: 4 percent.
- Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rand Paul: 2 percent each.
- The remaining seven candidates: 3 percent total.
On the question of an independent Trump candidacy, 18 percent said they would not back the current GOP front-runner, while 11 percent were undecided.
The survey was taken before Trump's comments
on Monday calling for a "complete and total shutdown" on all Muslims entering the United States until terrorism issues have been fully addressed.
"Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life," he said at a rally in South Carolina.
Trump doubled down on the comments during television interviews on Tuesday despite heavy criticism from Republicans and some Democrats.
He also told MSNBC that his plan would mirror those taken by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt against Japanese Americans and others during World War II.
"If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse," Trump said.
Trump has long wavered on mounting an independent challenge if he did not win the GOP nomination.
Republican officials were fearful of a third-party Trump effort since he began his run in June — and in September, the developer signed a pledge
not to do so after meeting with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in New York.
"I will be totally pledging allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands," Trump said at a news conference at Trump Tower. "We will fight hard and we will win."
Trump touted Tuesday's survey results on both Facebook and Twitter:
The post brought an immediate response from Bush:
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll involved 1,000 voters questioned between Wednesday and Sunday. The margin of error is 3 percent.
However, the independent question was asked of 100 voters, according to David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.
Trump also had the highest unfavorable rating among the candidates, at 60-30 percent.
"Despite having the highest unfavorable among all voters, Trump is getting the maximum return on his campaign investment," Paleologos said. "He has spent the least amount of money yielding huge returns in the GOP primary, and his loyal following would control the outcome of the general election if he were to run as an independent."
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