New O'Leary Report Poll Shows Republicans Think Donald Trump Is the Best Fit for Their Party

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New O'Leary Report Poll Released: A new poll shows that Republicans nationwide prefer Donald Trump as their candidate for president over Mitt Romney.

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It's clear from these margins that Romney, who might have more support than any other candidate, does not have the support needed to unify the Republican party.

The O'Leary Report, who for twenty years has done State of the Union polling with Zogby Analytics, wanted a poll on the question, "What happens if Trump is stopped at the Republican National Convention and the establishment airlifts in a consensus candidate to run in the November general election?"

After talking to a number of "establishment" leaders, they determined that most thought Mitt Romney would be the likely choice.

Many felt that Romney would be acceptable to most state delegations because he won the 2012 Republican nomination, and because of his recent activity which includes 1) going on national television, urging Republicans not to vote for Donald Trump; 2) having endorsed Marco Rubio in Florida, which would give him acceptability to Rubio delegates, 3) having done robo-calls for Governor Kasich and Senator Cruz in Ohio, 4) having voted for and endorsed Senator Cruz in the Utah caucas.

They then chose to have Zogby Analytics do an online survey of 573 Republican voters nationwide with a margin of error +/-4.2 percentage points. The poll ran between March 18-21, 2016. The question was "If the election for President was being held today, and the candidates were Donald Trump and Mitt Romney, for whom would you vote?"

They asked the question this way to make it more generic rather than get in to the complexities of an open national Republican convention.

50% of Republicans chose Donald Trump while 37% chose Mitt Romney, and 13% indicated they were unsure.

Trump clearly won with males 56/33%. With females, his margin was closer 44/42%. He also carried retired Republicans 59/32%, and won in every age group from 18-65+, including among parents 53/36%.

Trump lost among those Republicans who are liberal 29/46%, but carried moderates and conservatives. He also carried Republicans with college degrees by 48/41% and those with no college degrees by 52/34%.

Trump carried Catholics by a 55/37% margin, Protestants by a 50/38% margin and Evangelicals by a 48/39% margin. Trump also beat Romney in five of the seven household income classes, from <$25K-$150K+ (Romney wins among those who earn between $35-50K and $75-100K annually). Trump won among NASCAR fans 54/35% and Tea Party supporters 55/37%.

Trump also carried Republicans who are members of the National Rifle Association by a 63/33% margin. Romney had a problem carrying and getting out the vote among NRA members in the 2012 election. In comparison, Trump, who is a gun owner and concealed carrier, has a strong second amendment platform in 2016 and looks to fare much better with gun owners.

Trump carried members of the armed forces by 57/36%.

It's clear from these margins that Romney, who might have more support than any other candidate, does not have the support needed to unify the Republican party.

To read this report, you can go to or contact Zogby Analytics for a copy at

Brad O’Leary, publisher of and former NBC News Radio/Westwood One talk show host, is the author of the The United States Citizens’ Handbook and former feature writer for USA Today Weekend magazine.

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Bradley O'Leary
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