- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 30, 2016

When Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump declared he was the “presumptive nominee” this week, much news coverage challenged him on it. A new survey reveals that GOP voters appear to agree with Mr. Trump: 89 percent now agree that the candidate will win the nomination, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday.

The number of Republican voters who believe Mr. Trump will be the nominee has risen by 18 percentage points in less than a week. The poll analysis cites his sweeping primary victories in New York and five other states in recent days as deciding factors.

“To show how far Trump has come in a presidential bid that most considered highly improbable at the time, just 25 percent of Republicans said he was the likely nominee,” Rasmussen reported.

Americans in general agree. Among all likely voters, 80 percent believe the billionaire will be on the national ballot in seven months.

Mr. Trump’s chief rival also appears to be the chosen one. The poll found that 91 percent of Democrats — and 84 percent of all likely voters — see former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the likely Democratic nominee. And the horse race? Among all voters, the pair are neck and neck, though there are persistent misgivings about both of them

Trump and Clinton are now tied at 38 percent each among all likely voters. But 24 percent say they will vote third-party or stay home if those are the major-party nominees,” the poll noted.

“It’s moment of truth time for the ‘#Never Trump crowd’: Do they want four years of Clinton in the White House or a Republican president they strongly disagree with?” the poll analysis asked.

“Trump’s remaining GOP opponents, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, are counting on Tuesday’s Indiana primary to be their firewall to stop his candidacy short of the 1,237 delegates needed to be declared the nominee on the first ballot at July’s national Republican convention. Cruz and Kasich no longer have a mathematical chance of earning 1,237 delegates in the remaining state primaries, so they are pinning their hopes for the nomination on a deadlocked convention.”

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. voters was conducted on April 27-28 following Tuesday’s primaries.

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