Last night, after his triumphs in more GOP primaries, Donald Trump reveled in the ineffectiveness of the attacks against him.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had so many horrible, horrible things said about me in one week … but that’s OK,” Trump said in his news conference from his Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla. “I want to thank the special interests and the lobbyists, because they obviously did something to drive these numbers.”
There's no question that he's right about the primaries -- nothing anyone has thrown at Trump has shaken the support of his ardent backers, who make up about four-in-10 Republican voters.
But get outside the GOP primaries and the picture looks very different. Trump's image with the wider public is extremely negative and getting worse.
The latest data comes from an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released today. It finds that just 25% of all voters have a positive opinion of Trump, while 64% see him negatively. His image was bad a month ago; it's worse now.
Barely half of GOP voters polled said they were "satisfied" with the idea of Trump as their nominee. That compares with seven-in-10 who were satisfied with Mitt Romney four years ago and nearly eight-in-10 Democrats who say they'd be satisfied with Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps Trump can change that image during the course of a general-election campaign, but there's no question that he would start out in a very deep hole.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted March 3-6 among 1,200 registered voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.