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A new national survey shows that so-called “Never Trumpers” are the key to former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in the polls.

The survey offered voters a choice between 4 presidential candidates with equal skills and temperaments. Thirty-six percent (36%) say they would favor a Republican who supported policies similar to President Trump while 12% would support a more traditional Republican.

On the other side of the aisle, 24% prefer a Democrat who supported policies similar to Senator Bernie Sanders and an identical 24% prefer a more traditional Democrat.

Not surprisingly, those wanting a Republican similar to Trump are almost unanimous in support of the president. And, those who prefer any sort of Democrat are almost unanimous in opposition to the president.

However, there is a great divide among those who prefer a more traditional Republican candidate. Fully one-third of them (34%) are voting for Biden.

Currently, the latest polling by Scott Rasmussen shows Joe Biden leading by eight points. That margin is almost entirely accounted for by these Never Trump Republicans. The group of Republicans currently voting for Biden account for 4% of all voters nationwide. If they were voting for President Trump instead, the race would be dead even.

Longer term, these numbers suggest turmoil in the partisan alignment. Those who prefer a more traditional Republican may be searching for a new political home since their party is now more supportive of a populist approach. On the Democratic side, there is a much talked about inter-party divide ready to boil over. On that side of the aisle, the traditional and populist wings are evenly matched.

Overall, those favoring a traditional approach account for just 36% of all voters. Most voters at the moment (58%) favor a more populist approach. However, despite some common ground, there are significant divides between the populism of the right and populism of the left.


The survey of 1,265 Likely Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from October 15-17, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 102 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Online respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. The Likely Voter sample was derived from a larger sample of Registered Voters using screening questions and other factors. Certain quotas were applied to the larger sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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