http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/don ... on-voters/
We’ve got an unpopular set of presidential candidates this year– Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net-positive favorability rating — but Trump is the most unpopular of all. His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points. By comparison Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings are notoriously poor, has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.
You could plausibly argue that Ted Cruz would be a worse nominee than Trump despite having better favorability ratings and faring slightly better in general election head-to-heads. There’s reasonably clear evidence that voters tend to punish candidates with “extreme” (far right or far left) ideologies, and by statistical measures Cruz would be the most conservative nominee since (and possibly including) Barry Goldwater in 1964. Trump’s ideology is harder to pin down.
But that Cruz might be a bad nominee doesn’t make Trump a good one. It’s a perplexing that Republican elites have resigned to nominating either Trump or Cruz when nine other candidates are running and no one has voted yet.