Donald Trump's performance slumps in pre-poll surveys: Have Republicans already lost hope?

As Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump batted away a legion of polls pointing to impending electoral doom, insisting he will win the White House in 12 days' time, his fellow party men did not seem to resound his sentiments. While the real estate mogul tried to breathe in confidence into his supporters claiming that he will make it to the White House, his enthusiasm didn't seem to reflect among his fellow Republicans, if this poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos is to be believed.

The poll released on Wednesday, and conducted between 20 and 24 October shows that 40 percent Republicans believed Trump could cinch the 8 November polls while 41 percent thought that opposition Clinton campaign has scored well over their controversial candidate. This was in sharp decline from a similar Reuters poll carried out last month, when 58 percent Republicans had faith that their nominee would win the elections while only 23% percent expected Clinton to prevail.

 Donald Trumps performance slumps in pre-poll surveys: Have Republicans already lost hope?

For months, most polls have shown Clinton leading Trump in the popular vote — the live poll  by The New York Times shows Clinton leading over Trump with almost 6 percentage points on Friday. However, despite the growing pessimism, Trump is trying to appear unfazed. Amid his unsavoury allegations that the polls are rigged and the media is conspiring against him, Trump said, "We are going to have, I think, a tremendous victory," in an interview.

Meanwhile, another poll taken by Bloomberg, also showed signs of fatigue presiding over Trump supporters. The poll showed that in case Trump did lose the US presidential elections, his supporters are unlikely to stay loyal for his future political endeavours. The party, despite visible splinters is throwing its weight behind Trump for the run-up to the elections, but it appeared less sure whether it would like Trump to lead the GOP if he fails to win the election. The poll, surprisingly, showed that Trump's running mate Mike Pence was in fact the preferred choice if Republicans lose the presidential elections. Twenty seven percent, picked vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence. Trump got 24 percent, ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 19 percent, House Speaker Paul Ryan got 15 percent, and Ohio Governor John Kasich managed a feeble 10 percent.

According to a report in The Daily Mail, a Republican political consultant Karl Rove admitted that Trump's prospect pales in comparison to Clinton. "Well, if he plays an inside straight, he could get it, but I doubt that he's going to be able to play it," he said adding, "I don't see it happening..."

Not only this, his own campaign has admitted that things are far from okay as far as the Trump's prospect to beat Clinton are concerned. According to a report in The Washington PostDonald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said, "We are behind... Clinton has some advantages, like $66 million in ad buys just in the month of September, thereby doubling her ad buys from August. Now, most of those ads are negative against Donald Trump — classic politics of personal destruction, cesspool kind of ads. And she has tremendous advantages: She has a former president, who happens to be her husband, campaigning for her. The current President and First Lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be," she said.

Meanwhile, there is a very visible rift within the Republicans, which can be hardly perceived as healthy for Trump's Presidential ambitions. According to the Bloomberg report, Republicans are at the cusp of a "cataclysmic rupture" as pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions continue to rage a war against each other. “I think there’s a Trump party and there’s a Republican Party. I have a lot of problems squaring the two,” the article quoted Republican strategist Stuart Stevens as saying.

Trump's sliding popularity among his party men can arguably be attributed to the latest chain of events that proved damaging to the Trump campaign, at least going by the poll surveys. Earlier in October an audio tape went viral which featured Trump openly boasting about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman, an allegation Trump tried to loosely defend by terming it a 'joke' and 'locker room talk.' This not only drew flak from all circles within the media and his opponents, but also upset many of his supporters and fellow Republicans. The tape really dealt a blow to the Trump campaign as his poll results started plummeting soon after and many Republicans, including his running mate Mike Pence regretted and sought an apology. Apart from Pence, Condoleezza Rice, Jeb Bush, and Colin Powell were few other names who distanced themselves from his remark.

Another report in The Washington Post stated that Republican women were increasingly fearful that Trump's style of campaigning, his scathing and unsavoury remarks against women who accused him of sexual assault and the overall controversy on his comments about women could distance women voters from the party. Added to that is the unwillingness of Republican patriarchs to rebuke Trump or even distance the party from his remarks. Senator Kelly Ayotte had said she “cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” according to the report.

Another prominent female Republican said, "Trump does not represent me or my party," launching a scathing attack at the Republican nominee.

Trump and Clinton are now in the final stretch of an arduous two-year election campaign. The pair — with voices hoarse from repeating the same stump speeches over and over — crisscrossed swing states on Thursday soliciting votes. Both are now focused on getting supporters out to the polls.

"Early voting is underway so make sure, get out and vote, we don't want to give this away," Trump said, trashing Clinton as "a big liar." He is seeking to take advantage of possible complacency among Clinton's supporters and public weariness after a long and harrowing campaign. Clearly there are those who support Clinton and there are those will vote for Trump. But there is also a large section of undecided voters who are closely watching who both candidates are working hard to woo. But hardly anything can spell out the whose appeals will sway the undecided voters apart from the outcome 8 November polls.

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Updated Date: Oct 28, 2016 18:01:18 IST

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