A month ago, Donald Trump led in the polls, his rapid ascent propelling him past established Republicans like former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. But as fast as Trump rose in the GOP field, he’s plummeted even faster, to the point where it seems his presidential aspirations are barely a footnote.
After leading an April survey of the presidential candidates by Public Policy Polling (PPP), Trump has sunk to the bottom of the field in PPP’s latest offering, tied for fifth place with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.). Out in front are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, with 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
What explains Trump’s precipitous drop? Here’s more from PPP:
As Trump got more and more exposure over the last month Republicans didn’t just decide they weren’t interested in having him as their nominee—they also decided they flat don’t like him. Only 34 percent of GOP voters now have a favorable opinion of Trump to 53 percent who view him in a negative light.
Trump really made hay out of the ‘birther’ issue and as the resonance of that has declined, so has his standing. In February we found that 51% of Republican primary voters thought Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Now with the release of his birth certificate only 34 percent of GOP partisans fall into that camp, and Trump’s only in fifth place with that now smaller group of the electorate at 9 percent.
Perhaps the tipping point for Trump was last month’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where Trump was a frequent punchline. It wasn’t just the dinner’s guest comedian, Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers, who used Trump for comic relief but also President Obama himself, who depicted Trump as a goofy-haired conspiracy theorist. (“No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than ‘The Donald.’ And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”) Trump’s presidential aspirations still have not, and likely will not, recover.