For the first time in Gallup’s history, the Republican Party’s convention made voters less likely to support Donald Trump.
According to Gallup:
Americans are evenly divided on whether they view the Democratic Party more favorably (44%) or less favorably (42%) after the party’s national convention last week. However, their ratings of the Republican Party after the GOP convention two weeks ago were significantly worse, with 35% saying they viewed the party more favorably and 52% less favorably.
Gallup has asked this question about Democratic and Republican national conventions since 1984, with the exceptions of the 1984 and 1992 Republican conventions. The 2016 Republican convention is the first after which a greater percentage of Americans have said they are “less likely” rather than “more likely” to vote for the party’s presidential nominee.
Here is the chart via Gallup that shows the dubious history that Trump made in Cleveland:
Gallup: this GOP convention is first *ever* where more say they are now less likely to vote for the party's nominee. pic.twitter.com/1RVDEGKy76
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 1, 2016
It takes a lot of effort to put on a convention that is so bad that it makes viewers not want to support the nominee, but that is exactly what Donald Trump managed to do.
If the Republican convention turned off voters, how did Trump get a convention bounce in the polls?
The answer is that the polls showing a big bounce for Trump were wrong. It appears that the Trump bounce was a mere 1-2 percent, not the 5-10 points that many early post-GOP convention polls were showing. There are a few polls that showed Trump getting no bounce. The state polls never shifted after the Republican convention, which is a big sign that the Trump bounce was largely a polling illusion.
Trump’s gloom and doom fest in Cleveland hurt his campaign. Sure, lots of Americans watched, but a large percentage of the audience who tune in to see Trump are Democrats who are enjoying the trainwreck.
The Republican convention backfired on Donald Trump, as his plan to scare America into voting for him ended up helping Hillary Clinton and damaging his own campaign.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association