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Gallup: Republican voters don’t want brokered convention

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

Republican voters may have negative sentiments toward the current field of GOP presidential hopefuls, but the latest Gallup polling data shows that a majority of these voters prefer the final nominee to come from the current pack and would prefer not to head into a brokered GOP convention in August.

In a survey released Tuesday, a day before what likely was the last Republican presidential debate, Gallup asked the following to a sample of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents:

“In your view, would it be better for one of the four Republican candidates running to win enough delegates in the primaries to secure the presidential nomination before the party’s convention, or would it be better if none of the four candidates won enough delegates so that the party can pick someone else to be the nominee at the convention?”

Of those polled, 66% say it’s better if a candidate from the current field wins enough delegates before the convention. By contrast, only 29% say it’s better if  none of the candidates win enough delegates, and the convention chooses the final nominee.

These latest figures, gathered from February 16-19, come as 55% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say that they wish someone else was running for the GOP presidential nomination. Only 44% say they are pleased with the current selection of candidates.

Throughout the past few elections, in various months between 1992-2012, Gallup has been tracking Republican voter sentiment- both of those pleased with the selection of candidates and of those who wish for someone else to run for the party nomination.  Within this time period, this election year is the first time that a clear majority of Republican-aligned voters wish that someone else was running for the nomination. This year also contains Gallup’s lowest recorded percentage, 44%, that is pleased with the Republicans running.

Within the same week of the survey, former 2012 presidential candidate and Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter stressed the necessity of Republican primary voters to pick a candidate before the party’s convention. By doing so, he says, party establishment leaders would be prevented from overruling the will of primary voters. In what could be called a mini campaign on the very issue, he’s also taken to his Youtube channel to spread his message to Republican voters.

Also noted in the survey is that some subgroups of voters more loosely affiliated with the Republican Party are even more dissatisfied with the current group of candidates. This includes moderate or liberal Republicans (62%), Republican-leaning Independents (62%), those with some college education (59%), and those age 50 and older (59%).  Despite the attempts of the various candidates to play to the Tea Party crowd, even a majority of this demographic (54%) wishes that someone else was running for the Republicans.

This Gallup poll was based on telephone interviews February 16-19, 2012 with a random sample of 481 Republican and Republican-leaning Independents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It had a 95% confidence rate and a sampling error of +/- 6 percentage points.

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