Businessman Donald Trump may be riding high in Republican primary polls and scoring endorsements from political celebrities like Sarah Palin, but a new survey shows that even if he secures the GOP nod, he'll face formidable obstacles on the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
A national Gallup survey released Wednesday shows that Americans find much to fear in a potential Trump presidency, while a plurality think there's nothing to recommend a Trump administration.
The good, the bad, the ugly: Asked to identify the most positive thing about Trump becoming the nation's 45th president, 33% of respondents said "nothing," while another 10% had no opinion. Of those who did see some benefit in Trump winning the White House, 30% pointed to personal characteristics like his business background (10%) and his penchant for saying what's on his mind (8%), while 22% cited his stances on the issues, like illegal immigration (9%).
Meanwhile, Americans see plenty of disadvantages in elevating Trump to the presidency, with his brash personality by far his greatest vulnerability. Fifty-four percent of respondents identified Trump's personal characteristics as the biggest downsides to a Trump administration, the most common responses being his impulsiveness (12%), his lack of experience (9%) and his arrogance (9%). Another 17% cited issue-based concerns, like his lack of foreign policy experience (6%) and his hard-line immigration policy (5%).
Only 8% of respondents saw nothing negative about a Trump presidency, while 6% cited the simple fact that he'd be president as the worst aspect of his victory.
What it means: While the leading Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have made Trump's inflammatory positions the primary focus of their attacks on him, the numbers underscore that negative perceptions of Trump's personality — and a nagging sense that Trump is, as Sanders once put it, a national "embarrassment" — could do much of the Democrats' work for them if Trump emerges as the GOP nominee.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday indicated that either Clinton or Sanders would start out with a healthy advantage over Trump: Clinton led the businessman 51% to 41%, while Sanders enjoyed a 54% to 39% lead.
Tough numbers indeed for a man who prizes winning above all.