Update: Coverage of second Republican debate.
Donald Trump has been inching upward in the polls lately. Last week, one from The Economist and YouGov was the first to show him clearly in first place. After that, Monmouth University released a poll showing Trump a close second to Jeb Bush — and now, Suffolk University and USA Today have released another new poll showing Trump on top.
Now, don't get carried away here. It's easy for an attention-getting celebrity non-politician like Trump to stand out from a pack of politicians for a bit, but his candidacy is surely still doomed.
"Trump supporters may be making more of a statement than voting for someone they consider a contender," Kathy Frankovic wrote at YouGov. "Just one in five of Trump's supporters think Trump will win the nomination." Other tidbits Frankovic points out are that Trump's supporters tend to back the Tea Party and to identify as "very conservative," and are less likely to be college-educated.
The new poll from Suffolk and USA Today presents another problem for Trump — it shows him losing the general election to Hillary Clinton by 17 percentage points, far more than other potential nominees. (Jeb Bush, for instance, loses by just four points.) If Trump continues to perform well in polls, his rivals will surely point out that those same polls show dire results for a Republican Party that nominates him.
Plus, Trump is still only getting 17 percent in the crowded GOP field, which isn't anywhere near a majority. Also, Trump hasn't yet led any polls in Iowa or New Hampshire, which are generally more important than national polls. Still, it's national polls that are being used to determine which candidates qualify for the first GOP debate, and Trump clearly makes that cut at this point.
But the big question about whether Trump will show up on stage in Cleveland on August 6 isn't about his polling — it's about whether he'll actually turn in the required financial disclosures to the FEC. As Slate's Josh Voorhees writes, many are skeptical that Trump would publicly disclose so many details of his "business empire." Trump told the Washington Post's Robert Costa that he'll file the form "this week."
"Do you think Jeb Bush is going to file his statement?" Trump asked Costa, before coming up with another way to brag about his own wealth: "His should be simple, you know, in comparison to mine. I have so many companies and corporations."
But, in my view, it's not Trump who should be celebrating these new poll results — it's Jeb Bush. Click here to see why.