The Donald Trump Effect: Not a Politician and Dominating on Immigration

Donald Trump GOP Colorado Survey

Here at Magellan Strategies we strive to generate research projects that are not only interesting, but more importantly are relevant to our clients. For our clients here in Colorado, there is very little public research focused on how likely Republican Primary voters view the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. For our clients around the country, there is a lack of public research that attempts to truly understand the factors that are motivating Republican Primary voters to support Donald Trump.

We decided to fill both voids at once by fielding a 609n automated survey (April 5th-6th, margin of error +/- 3.97%) of likely Republican Primary voters in Colorado.  This survey was fielded and paid for by Magellan Strategies alone, and not paid for by any candidate, campaign, committee, independent expenditure group or individual.

We are beginning to release the results today, and will continue to release our findings throughout the next week, with no agenda other than to provide valuable information about the political landscape within the Republican Party to anyone who is interested. Below are two key findings on the race for the Republican Presidential nomination among Colorado Republicans:

Republican Primary Voters Prefer Donald Trump Over Ted Cruz

If a Republican Presidential Primary Election were to take place in Colorado, 44% of likely voters would vote for Donald Trump, 34% support Ted Cruz, 17% support John Kasich and 5% are undecided. When asked to choose between only Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, 48% support Trump and 42% support Cruz, and 10% are undecided. These results are interesting in light of the results at the Republican State Convention where Ted Cruz won all 34 delegates awarded. What the results show is a potential disconnect between the more dedicated group of delegates who participated in the state convention and the far broader group of 350,000 to 400,000 Republicans who would typically vote in a primary election.


What Are the Factors Driving Support for Donald Trump?

Simply put, support for Donald Trump is being driven by his dominance among the 22% of voters that believe stopping illegal immigration is the the top issue. Among those voters, 59% support Donald Trump and only 26% support Ted Cruz.  Additionally, of the 20% of respondents that chose “National Security Issues” as the top issue, 40% support Donald Trump and 27% support Ted Cruz. To summarize, on each of the top two issues, Donald Trump holds a double-digit lead over Ted Cruz, including a substantial 23-point lead on the issue of stopping illegal immigration. 


Beyond the observations of the ballot test by specific issue preference, we asked Trump supporters an open-ended verbatim question why they are supporting him.  Below are a few representative examples:

  • I would vote for Donald Trump because he’s an outsider. I would vote for Donald Trump because we need somebody strong to stand up for America. I would vote for Donald Trump because he seems the most honest one of the group. I would vote for Donald Trump because I think he can help us figure out our trade deficits. I would vote for Donald Trump because he’s going to build a wall and get rid of the illegals and try to keep all of the terrorists out.
  • I’m sick and tired of politicians running the government. I think we need a change. I think we need someone that will stand up to other countries. I totally agree with what he has to say that the United States is in bad shape. We need someone that can straighten out the mess that the Republicans and the Democrats and especially Obama has caused.
  • I would vote for Donald Trump because he’s not connected to the other Republicans in Washington. I think they’re nothing but a bunch of schemers and it’s their way or no. And I don’t like that. I like Donald Trump. And it might be his way or no way but I still like him and I think he would make a big difference in Washington.

While many verbatim responses did touch on specific issues like immigration or the economy, there is also a very clear desire among these Republican Primary voters for someone different. They are tired of politicians – even politicians from their own party – and they do not view the fact that Donald Trump has never held elected office as a problem. Quite the opposite, it is actually appealing to these voters when they compare Donald Trump to Ted Cruz. 


Early next week we will be releasing additional parts of this research about how these Republican Primary voters view the Republican leadership in Washington and the Republican Party generally. Suffice it to say, there are some very interesting findings beyond the race for the Republican Presidential nomination…

Please Stay Tuned!

Note: The full toplines and crosstabs will be released with our final blog post regarding this survey next week.

Please direct any questions regarding the survey results to David Flaherty at or Courtney Gibbon at, or call our office at (303) 861-8585.

By | 2017-05-24T03:25:53+00:00 April 20th, 2016|