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Without uniting behind Trump, GOP faces ‘lose-lose situation,’ new poll suggests

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points to a reporter during a campaign event in the atrium of the Old Post Office Pavilion

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points to a reporter during a campaign event in the atrium of the Old Post Office Pavilion

Many voters who aren’t backing the front-runners in the presidential race are considering sitting out the November election.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said 34 percent of Donald Trump supporters say they would not participate in the November election if he doesn’t have enough delegates to get the nomination and Republicans pick someone else at a contested convention.

“By the same token, we see a lot of non-Trump voters who are unhappy with the prospect of Donald Trump being their nominee, and so they might stay home,” Murray said. “This is why it looks like it’s probably a lose-lose situation for the Republican Party unless they can figure out some way to unify behind that front-runner.”

Some Democrats might also decide not to participate in the general election, he said.

“Most Sanders voters say that they would probably vote for Clinton in November, a majority of 55 percent,” Murray said. “But 11 percent say they probably wouldn’t, and 20 percent say they definitely wouldn’t if she became the nominee.”

Plenty of time remains for all sides to unite behind their eventual nominee, and Murray predicted a large voter turnout in November.

“In these primaries, so far, Donald Trump has been bringing a lot of people out to vote. And I think in a general election, if he’s the nominee, there will be also a lot of anti-Trump people who come out to vote as well,” Murray said. “Is there anybody else who could also spark excitement as a third party candidate? We’ll have to see.”

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