Everyone in politics loves a winner. Despite winning less than half of the votes cast in the Republican primary polls in 2016, Donald Trump's Republican support has largely consolidated 90% in Gallup polls by his subsequent nomination and victory in the presidential election.
But that has not stopped the steady stream of speculation that Trump may face a primary challenge from a group that included former right-wing radio host Joe Walsh, former Congressman and Governor Mark Sanford and former Governor Bill Weld , They argue that because of his unorthodox personality and political views, Trump is still poorly suited to the Republican Party today, and believe that Republican voters are open to changing sides.
What to do with these primary challengers? While there are surveys that suggest that some Republicans like the idea of having a few options to choose from, there is little evidence that Trump is actually vulnerable, even if a more prominent Republican joins the race.
Let's put Trump's position against Republicans in context. His general work permit is on average in the low 40s and has been extremely stable for months. His work permit at this time in late summer 201
But under the hood the numbers are not quite the same. According to Gallup, Obama had only 75% of the Democrats a work permit at that time. In the same week at the end of August 2011, its average share was 35% for Independents and 11% for Republicans. Trump today has almost the same work permit as the Independent, but for the Democrats his approval is only 4%. Make the difference? So much higher approval from the Republicans.
Obama and Trump had the same work permit at the time, even among independents. Barack Obama actually had a weaker work permit than Trump among his own partisans. But at no point in the run up to the 2012 election has the attention really been paid to Obama's primacy.
Nevertheless, there have been a number of surveys that attempt to find out if Trump is vulnerable to a primary challenge by asking Republicans if they want to see a challenge. The Pew Research Center addressed this issue a few months ago and noted that while the majority of Republicans said they did not want anyone to challenge Trump, over 4 out of 10 said they had one Want to see a challenge.
But wanting options is not the same as promising to actually choose another option. It is often stated in surveys of all kinds that more options should be available. You can support your local deli by adding some new sandwiches to the menu. However, this does not mean that you intend to order anything other than the usual one.
Finally, Trump has changed Republican voter preferences to suit his own. At the start of the Trump presidency, just north of 60% of Republicans supported "the Wall," a figure that has been rising north of 80% since the beginning of this year. The Republicans have said goodbye to the support of a restrained executive, vacillated free trade and consider Russia nowadays even more likely to be friends . Trump's republican critics often notice how he breaks with the party's long-standing views on key issues. Many Republican voters are now adapting their own views to the views of their presidents.
That's not to say Republicans love and support everything Trump does. The majority of Republicans say that Trump's statements sometimes make them feel worried or embarrassed. Even the Republicans, angered by the tweets, temperament or tariffs, do not necessarily want to throw Trump overboard and start afresh, and in states like New Hampshire, where independents can join in and shake things up, this is a hotly contested one Democratic primary probably consume all the oxygen.
Trump's primary challengers may provide feed for cable news segments, but they are trying to meet a demand that largely does not exist among Republican primary voters.