Polls reveal that American voters are decidedly unhappy with Donald Trump

Nearly one-fifth of registered Republicans want Donald Trump to drop out of the race for the White House, reflecting the turmoil his candidacy has sown in his party.

About 19% think the New York real estate magnate should drop out, 70% think he should stay in and 10% say they “don’t know”, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 396 registered Republicans and released on Wednesday. The poll has a confidence interval of six percentage points.

Among all registered voters, about 44% want Trump to drop out. That is based on a survey of 1 162 registered voters, with a confidence interval of three percentage points. That is nine points higher than his support for the presidency in the latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll registered on Monday.

The figures underscore deep divisions in the Republican Party over Trump’s candidacy. Several prominent Republicans have declined to endorse him in the November 8 election against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, citing his fiery rhetoric and policy proposals such as building a wall along the United States-Mexican border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.

Trump found himself embroiled in yet another controversy this week after saying at a rally that gun rights activists could act to stop Clinton from nominating liberal US Supreme Court justices — a comment his campaign said was misinterpreted, but one Clinton’s campaign described as “dangerous”.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Trump said at the rally at the University of North Carolina. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” he added. The US Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees a right

to keep and bear arms.

He had previously stirred criticism for engaging in a spat with the parents of a Muslim US soldier killed in Iraq. Republican Senator Susan Collins said on Monday that that dispute led her to announce she would not vote for Trump.

In addition, 50 prominent national security experts signed an open letter saying they would not vote for Trump, saying he “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president. Trump dismissed the group as part of the Washington establishment that he blames for many of the US’s problems.

Neither Trump nor Clinton enjoys great popularity. About 53% of Americans have an unfavourable view of Clinton, who has been accused of mishandling her emails as secretary of state, according to the Reuters/Ipsos polling.

But nearly 63% have an unfavourable view of Trump.

Clinton led Trump by more than seven percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, up from a less than three-percentage-point lead late last week. — Reuters

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