The Donald Trump Effect: Cleveland Decisions and Impacts to GOP Turnout in November

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The Donald Trump Effect: Cleveland Decisions and Impacts to GOP Turnout in November

Trump RNC Cleveland

This post is a continuation of our data release from a survey of likely Republican Primary voters in CO that was fielded on April 5th and 6th (margin of error +/- 3.97%).  To reiterate, Magellan Strategies fielded this survey with our own resources and it was not paid for by any candidate, campaign, committee, independent expenditure group or individual. We are releasing the results of this survey so that Magellan clients both here in Colorado and around the country have some research data measuring the views and opinions of the Republican primary voter during this very unique election cycle.

One aspect of the race for the Republican nomination for President that we wanted to look at is the question of how a contested Republican National Convention in Cleveland would affect GOP turnout in November. It is no secret that to be successful in November, the Republican Party and GOP-affiliated groups will need to execute a near flawless get-out-the-vote (GOTV) program.  However, even the best GOTV plan will fall short if likely Republican voters decide not to vote for the party’s nominee, or choose not to vote at all. The results below show whether or not such a scenario is likely.

Voter Preference of Method to Choose a Nominee in Cleveland

To understand if Republican turnout could be negatively impacted by a contested convention in Cleveland, we first wanted to know what process of choosing a nominee that GOP primary voters would prefer in the event that no candidate has a majority of delegates:

As you may know, there has been a lot of speculation about a contested Republican convention if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz do not have a majority of delegates after the Republican primaries are completed by early June. Which of the following two options do you prefer to decide how a candidate wins the Republican nomination for President if no candidate has a majority of delegates?

Option 1 would give the nomination to the candidate with the most delegates regardless if he has a majority.

Option 2 would have the delegates at the convention decide who the nominee would be, with no restrictions on whom they can name.

Option 1…………………………..59%

Option 2………………………….33%

Unsure/no opinion……………8%

The survey data shows that a clear majority of likely Republican Primary voters in Colorado would prefer that the candidate with the most delegates receive the nomination. Not surprisingly, among Donald Trump supporters, 86% prefer option 1. However, it is interesting to note that even among Ted Cruz supporters, 32% prefer Option 1.

VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE CROSSTABS FOR THIS QUESTION

30% of GOP Voters Would Not Vote for Cruz if Trump Has a Majority of Delegates and Does Not Win Nomination

At the time this survey was fielded, there were stories in the media detailing how Donald Trump could lose the nomination despite having won a majority of delegates. This scenario could happen if rule changes were made at the convention.  If this scenario were to play out, and assuming that the nomination would go to Ted Cruz, how would this impact Republican turnout this November?

If Donald Trump has a majority of delegates to win the Republican nomination, but the nomination ended up going to Ted Cruz at the convention, would you still vote for Ted Cruz this November in the general election?

Yes………………………………….55%

No…………………………………..30%

Unsure…………………………….15%

Not surprisingly, 30% of all respondents said they would not support Ted Cruz, and among Donald Trump supporters, 52% would not vote for Ted Cruz. If this were to happen, it is very likely that a significant percentage of Republican voters would stay home in November.

VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE CROSSTABS FOR THIS QUESTION

What Percentage of Primary Voters Would Not Vote for Donald Trump and Why?

Finally, we also wanted to measure the percentage of Republican Primary voters who would not vote for Donald Trump in the November election if he were to become the Republican nominee. Clearly Donald Trump’s image, style and personality can be abrasive. His statements and comments during this primary election are well documented, and it only makes sense to ask Republican Primary voters if they would refuse to vote for Donald Trump, and if so why.

If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President, would you vote for him this November or would you not vote for him?

Vote for Donald Trump………………………………………………………….. 78%

Not vote for Donald Trump…………………………………………………….. 14%

Unsure……………………………………………………………………………………. 8%

If 14% of Republican voters stay home or do not support Donald Trump, it will be a tremendous challenge for the Republican Party to win the White House, and it could also impact down-ballot races. To understand why these voters would not vote for Donald Trump, view the verbatim responses below:

VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE CROSSTABS FOR THIS QUESTION
VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE VERBATIMS FOR THIS QUESTION

The one big takeaway from these findings is that the Republican nominee, whether it is Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, will face the difficult task of reunifying the party before November, or risk almost certain defeat.

Note: The full toplines and crosstabs will be released with our final blog post on this research by the end of this week.

By | 2017-05-22T20:15:59+00:00 April 25th, 2016|