At least 10 companies have cut ties with businessman Donald Trump in the wake of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign announcement on June 16. Yet since then, his polling numbers have increased exponentially, putting him near the top of the crowded Republican field.
But the jump in Trump’s polling numbers is not as big as it seems. In a field of 14 announced candidates (expected to rise to 16 or 17), there are still no frontrunners. No single candidate is consistently polling over 15 percent nationally.
Some pollsters and media outlets will claim a candidate is “leading,” or in second place, or even a “frontrunner.” However, under most circumstances, a candidate polling at 12-15 percent would be laughable -- and have little chance of winning. In that light, all of the Republicans are doing pretty abysmally in the polls.
Trump is a good example: Statistically speaking, he’s made big gains by going from under 5 percent to around 12-15 percent within two weeks. Practically speaking, that’s still only a very small segment of Republicans who say they will vote for him -- especially since he has better name recognition than most other Republican candidates.
The same could be said for all 16 candidates HuffPost Pollster is tracking. By default, the chart’s maximum value is 30 percent, so that it is focused closely on the trend lines. When you reset the chart to show all 100 percent of Republicans, it becomes clear just how little support any of them have.
So it’s important to keep movement in the polls in perspective. It’s important to remember that early polls are not good at predicting outcomes. What the polls are providing is a metric of where opinion is right now -- and it's all over the place.