Republicans have drawn the line and the line has nothing to do with party. It has everything to do with Donald Trump. In a new poll, Republicans say they are prepared to buck the Republican party and are pledging their allegiance to Donald Trump, promising to vote for the man if he drops the Republican banner and run as an independent.
The nationwide survey, taken Wednesday through Sunday, finds a trio of Republican candidates who show emerging national strength — Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — as other once-serious contenders struggle for traction.
And in a chilling sign for Republicans, 68% of Trump’s supporters say they would vote for the blustery billionaire businessman if he ran as an independent rather than a Republican; just 18% say they wouldn’t. The rest were undecided.
Among Democrats, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton has widened her lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to nearly 2-1, 56%-29%.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken before the latest Trump firestorm, this time over his statement Monday calling for a “complete and total shutdown” on all Muslims entering the United States until concerns about terrorism can be addressed. In TV interviews Tuesday morning, he refused to back down in the face of criticism not only by Democrats but also some leading Republicans.0