By now, you surely know that Donald Trump is the least-liked Republican candidate for president. How could he not be, after months and months of coverage of how disliked he is? A new Fox News survey reveals that, thanks to opposition from Democrats, Trump is indeed viewed less favorably than any other candidate.
But if you look only at Republican respondents, that changes: Republicans view Jeb Bush even worse.
Among all voters, Trump is at negative-25 — that is, he is viewed 25 points more unfavorably than favorably. Bush is at -21. Among Republicans? Bush gets lower marks than anyone, at plus-1. Even Chris Christie is at +4. The difference is inside the margin of error, but this is clearly not where Bush would like to be.
Part of that is thanks to Bush’s slide in favorability over time. His drop looks a lot like that of another person with a famous last name: Hillary Clinton. Clinton was doing better than Bush when Fox polled in March and May, and is still doing better than him now; but for all of the hand-wringing over Clinton’s trustworthiness, Bush has fared just as badly.
Others have seen big increases. Joe Biden, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are all viewed more positively than they were, in part because the latter two are getting better known. Net favorability is just those who view someone favorably minus those who don’t, so if people have no opinion, the net is necessarily lower. (If 90 percent of people haven’t heard of you, the biggest net favorability you could have is +10.)
But now, a quick aside: Who are the 2 percent of people who have not heard of Donald Trump? Sincerely. Who are these people? Are they just trolls, goofing on the pollster? Is this like a Tom-Hanks-in-“Castaway” situation, and they just landed back in the United States, marveling at the ice in their drinks after two decades on a remote island? (Is it possible that 2 percent of America was lost at sea that long?) I mean, 1 percent of people say they haven’t heard of Hillary Clinton, which is also bad. But she hasn’t been on network television hundreds of times since 2005.
Speaking of Clinton! For all of the commotion about her image, it’s worth pointing out that she’s still viewed pretty positively where it matters right now. She’s viewed more positively than Bernie Sanders by Democrats — though he’s obviously less well-known. (Interestingly, he’s better known by Republicans, perhaps because “SOCIALIST.”) Clinton is viewed far worse by Republicans and independents, though — her standing with independents is the same as Sanders’s with Republicans.
A reminder that this is all very much in flux. Past polls showed Trump was very unpopular with Republicans; now he isn’t. Those who are just learning about candidates like Carson and Fiorina might change their minds as more information becomes known (Fiorina in particular has come under plenty of scrutiny). The only very bad news here is for Bush, whose hope to offer his family a threepeat is going differently than he surely hoped.