Donald Trump's supporters aren't going to listen to anybody speaking against him, Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia said Tuesday, but he does think it's significant that GOP leaders and other candidates are lining up to repudiate his latest statements.
"This has moved people off the fence, and a lot of Republicans, believe it or not, were on the fence," Sabato told CNN's "Newsroom"
program. "Not because they agreed with Donald Trump, but because they didn't want to get in line sight of him, so that he would start tweeting about them, or that they might lose some support for their candidacy."
On Monday, Trump drew fire
from Republicans and Democrats alike after calling for a "complete and total shutdown" on Muslims entering the United States, making the most dramatic response by a candidate yet to a shooting spree last week by two Muslims who the FBI says were radicalized.
But while many people are repudiating the statements, Sabato said the comments will likely intensify support among his followers. The New York businessman is still the front-runner with ratings in the 20s and 30s, depending on the polls.
"That means that between two-thirds and three-quarters of Republicans don't support him," said Sabato. "And what I think all of his controversies have done, controversy after controversy after controversy, it has hardened the two-thirds to three-quarters that are not for him. And sooner or later, they will gravitate around one or two or three opponents as opposed to the 10 or 11 or 12 opponents. That's going to have an impact."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.