Poll puts Kasich ahead of Trump in presidential primary

Aug 10, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

An August poll from the American Research Group, Inc. found 52% of respondents would vote for Ohio Governor John Kasich if a presidential primary was held in New Hampshire tomorrow.  40% would vote for current President Donald Trump, and 8% were undecided. 

The University of New Hampshire Survey Center also released a poll this week that found 55% of poll participants disapproved of the job President Trump is doing. 

Trump won the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary with 35% of the Republican vote.  Kasich came in second with 16%.

Primary challenges are rare

It is rare for a politician to challenge a sitting president from the same party, but it’s not impossible.  In fact, it happened three times in quick succession in the twentieth century.

In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson dropped out after the New Hampshire primary due to competition from Sen. Eugene McCarthy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. 

In 1976 Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford.  Reagan lost, but so did Ford in the general election – to Jimmy Carter.

In 1980 President Carter faced his own primary challenge from Sen. Edward Kennedy.  Carter won re-nomination but lost the general election – to Ronald Reagan.

Could Trump face a primary challenge?

Many political pundits believe Kasich is laying the groundwork for a 2020 challenge to Trump. 

Two of Kasich’s campaign staff formed a political action committee that might serve as a funnel for early campaign donations. 

Analysts have also speculated that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) might run.

According to the UNH poll, Trump already has a lower approval rating than former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush during the beginning of their time in office. 

However, if a president faces a primary challenge, his party will likely lose in the general election.  Republicans may therefore unite behind Trump if they are particularly hostile to the Democratic candidates.

The odds are also against a primary challenger defeating any sitting president, so Trump opponents may just wait to 2024 to launch campaigns.

Who would you vote for?

If the next Republican presidential primary was held tomorrow, would you vote for John Kasich or Donald Trump?  Let us know in the comments below.

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