Monday 26 September 2016

I won't quit presidential race, says defiant Trump

Rachael Alexander in Washington

Published 10/12/2015 | 02:30

People opposed to Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States stand on the steps of New York’s City Hall during an interfaith rally in Manhattan. Photo: Reuters
People opposed to Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States stand on the steps of New York’s City Hall during an interfaith rally in Manhattan. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: AP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump last night insisted that he will never leave the 2016 race despite increasing calls for him to step aside.

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He was responding to a White House announcement claiming that Mr Trump was "disqualified" after he appealed for America to stop allowing Muslims from entering the country.

Mr Trump told the 'Washington Post' he would not step aside no matter what happens.

Other contenders in the 2016 race condemned his comments about Muslims.

He also alluded to running as an independent in a tweet linking to a 'USA Today' poll which found 68pc of his supporters would vote for him if he left the Republican party.

Concerned that Mr Trump could run as an independent, Republican leaders persuaded the New York businessman to pledge to support the eventual nominee.

However, Mr Trump has threatened to leave the Republican party before if he was not "treated fairly".

"My whole life is about winning. I don't lose often. I almost never lose," he told the 'Post'.

Party officials fear a third-party Mr Trump campaign would spilt the Republican vote, and give Democrats a winning advantage.

Although Mr Trump has consistently led in national polls for several months, a majority of voters view him unfavourably.

Many political analysts believe the large number of Republican candidates is one of the reasons Mr Trump had led the polls and that Mr Trump would perform differently once the race consolidated.

Despite the widespread condemnation, some 66pc of likely 2016 Republican primary voters favour Mr Trump's call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US, while more than a third say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Those are some of the findings from a Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies PulsePoll, an online survey conducted on Tuesday, that shows support at 37pc among all likely general election voters for the controversial proposal put forward by the Republican front-runner.

"We believe these numbers are made up of some people who are truly expressing religious bigotry and others who are fearful about terrorism and are willing to do anything they think might make us safer," Doug Usher, who runs polling for Washington-based Purple Strategies, said in his analysis of the poll's findings. "This indicates that, despite some conventional wisdom expressed in the last 48 hours, this is unlikely to hurt Trump, at least in the primary campaign." 

While Mr Trump has considerable strength among likely Republican primary voters, the survey shows weakness for him in a general election. Including all likely voters, 33pc view him favourably and 64pc unfavourably.

That's a worse favorability rating than US President Barack Obama, who was at 51pc favourable and 47pc unfavorable in this survey. It's also worse than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who is seen favourably by 45pc and unfavourably by 52pc of likely general-election voters.

Mr Trump's comments about Muslims came after the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California. He called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

Irish Independent

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