Lifelong Republicans turned off by Trump

Media caption“End of the party”: Lifelong Republicans turned off by Trump

One of the many extraordinary things about this election is not how many people love Donald Trump, it’s how many don’t. And I don’t just mean Democrats, or even Republican party grandees.

When asked about Mr Trump, a good number of ordinary, lifelong Republican voters express feelings that can only be described as loathing.

Having covered four US elections, I’ve never heard anything quite like it.

It’s not just anecdotal, Trump’s negative opinion ratings (the degree to which he is unpopular) are significantly higher than any of the other candidates (including Hillary Clinton) and higher than either Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008.

I thought it was worth finding out just why these Republicans are so opposed to their frontrunner.

What I heard in South Carolina was not so much disagreement with his policies but dislike of his temperament – asked to describe him they used words like, “egotistical”, “bully”, “narcissist”, “bigot” and “racist”.

The list went on. Some even said they couldn’t use words that are polite enough for television.

The question for the Republican party now is whether Mr Trump, if he is the nominee, can win these people back.

If he can’t, and if disaffected Republican voters stay home and don’t vote, or worse, vote Democrat, as one of them told me he would, then it will be very hard for Trump to win the White House.

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