By LINDA KILLIAN – – – – –
Linda Killian is executive director of Independent Americans United and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Her most recent book is “The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents.” She is on Twitter: @lindajkillian.
For months, Donald Trump supporters have not cared about pronouncements from the candidate that would have derailed the campaigns of traditional politicians.
But recent polling suggests that what appeals to Trump supporters is hurting the candidate with other potential, and critical, voting blocs, especially women.
In more than a dozen polls taken over the past month Mr. Trump’s overall unfavorable rating is at least 60%.
Mr. Trump is not scoring well with women, millennials, minorities, or swing and independent voters. These are demographics he needs to win a general election campaign.
These numbers are why Republican Party officials are worrying not only that Mr. Trump could become the party’s standard-bearer and badly lose the general election but also that his name at the top of the ticket could cost Republicans their majority in the U.S. Senate and possibly the House.
Mr. Trump has sought to walk back hiscomments on abortion, but anti-Trump forces have coalesced in Wisconsin ahead of its April 5 primary, and a Marquette Law School pollout this week shows Ted Cruz leading Mr. Trump by 10 points.
Early this year, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the plan is to “let Trump be Trump.” This strategy has worked well with some parts of the electorate but has growing risks with others.