Riding a rebellion fueled by opposition to illegal immigration and pessimism about the nation’s future, Donald Trump leads a scrambling duo of competitors less than three months before California’s Republican presidential primary, anew USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times statewide poll has found.
Yet the party whose nomination he is seeking has fractured because of his candidacy, with ominous prospects for Republicans if the New York businessman emerges victorious after the party’s summer convention.
A quarter of California Republican voters polled said they would refuse to vote for Trump in November if he is the party’s nominee. Almost one-third of those backing Trump’s leading competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, said they would not cast a ballot for Trump. Voters who back Trump, meanwhile, are critical of Cruz, with only half holding a favorable impression of him.
That division sets up the potential of cascading losses down the ballot for Republicans already fighting the tide in one of the nation’s most Democratic states, including in a number of contested congressional districts.
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