By Tom Quiner
There is a huge problem with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz: independent voters hate them.
And without a majority of independent votes, Republicans lose.
According to pollsters, YouGov, Trump’s unfavorable ratings are the worst of all the Republican candidates.
• 51% of independent voters said they would NEVER vote for him.
• 58% of self-identified moderate voters said they would NEVER vote for him.
For Cruz, the numbers are only marginally not as bad:
• 41% of independent voters said they would NEVER vote for him.
• 47% of self-identified moderate voters said they would NEVER vote for him.
Here’s the problem: there aren’t enough conservative voters for Republicans to win.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, David Brady, a political scientist from Stanford University spelled it out:
The arithmetic is pretty simple: 41% of voters in the 2012 presidential election described themselves as moderates, and 29% as independents. Almost all Republicans (93%) and self-described conservatives (82%) voted for Mitt Romney, but that wasn’t enough. Even if Mr. Romney had won every Republican or conservative voter, it still wouldn’t have been enough.
Because there are roughly 5% more Democrats than Republicans, the GOP needs a solid majority of independents to win a national election. In 2012 Mitt Romney outpolled Barack Obama among independents, 50% to 45%. But that didn’t take him across the electoral college finish line.
On the other hand, Marco Rubio fares much better with moderate and independent voters than Trump and Cruz. Only 32% of independents said they would never vote for him.
If Republicans want to win, he’s their guy.
If they want to lose, they should go with Trump or Cruz.