LOS ANGELES – That string of sibilants you hear is the air rapidly leaking out of the presidential balloon that kept Donald Trump floating above the political confusion that has marked the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
According to the latest poll by Public Policy Polling, Trump, the not-so-bashful potential candidate, has had one of the quickest rises – and now falls – in presidential politics. The Democratic polling company once had Trump leading the more than a dozen possible GOP contenders with 26 percent, but now the reality show host and businessman is down to 8 percent, in a tie for fifth place with Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
According to PPP, Trump seems to have ridden the “birther” issue up in the polls then down after the White House released Obama’s long-form birth certificate, proving yet again that he was indeed born in Hawaii. Trump claimed credit for getting the release, but that doesn’t seem to have swayed GOP voters. Only 34 percent of them said they had a favorable opinion of Trump, while 53 percent said they viewed him in a negative light, according to the poll.
Like many of the possible GOP contenders, Trump has not made a formal declaration on whether he will really run.
The poll found that former Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas were opening some daylight between themselves and the rest of the GOP pack. But the level of support changes depending on which candidates drop out of the running.