A look at other polling reveals the obstacles to Trump ever improving his fortunes much. The Roper Center and IBD/TPP examined polling on the popularity of the two leading candidates and compared it to the other major party nominees and found shocking results
That survey looked at whether potential voters whether they had a view toward the candidates that was “strongly favorable,” “somewhat favorable,” “somewhat unfavorable” or “strongly unfavorable.” 53% of those polled said they had a strongly unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. Harry Enton of FiveThirtyEight reports on the polling:
Clinton’s average “strongly unfavorable” rating in probability sample polls from late March to late April, 37 percent, is about 5 percentage points higher than the previous high between 19803 and 2012. Trump, though, is on another planet. Trump’s average “strongly unfavorable” rating, 53 percent, is 20 percentage points higher than every candidate’s rating besides Clinton’s. Trump is less disliked than David Duke was when Duke ran for the presidency in 1992, but Duke never came close to winning the nomination. In fact, I’ve seen never anything like Trump’s numbers heading into a general election for someone who is supposed to be competitive.The table below shows the candidates strongly unfavorable numbers:
But what about the possibility that, although Trump has hard core opposition to his candidacy, he has a considerable following that offsets that? Well, if that were true, it would show up it the "net strong favorability," a measurement that combines a candidates strongly favorable with his or her strongly unfavorable numbers. Dating back to Reagan, no presidential candidate had had a negative net strong favorability rating in the double figures. The good news for Republicans is that Clinton broke that string with a net strong unfavorability rating of -20%. The bad news is that Trump's numbers are twice as bad as Hillary's, coming in with a -40% rating.
This table highlights the numbers:
The polling belies the notion that Trump will get record number of independents and Democrats to vote for him. Contrary to the common assumption, most polling showed the other Republican candidates as being more popular with independent voters and Democrats than Trump.
Trump's only saving grace is the unpopularity of Hillary Clinton. But if he goes on the attack to drive Clinton's numbers even higher, it will further cement his own unpopularity. The rule of campaign politics is that attacking one's opponent might drive up his or her negatives, but it will also drive up your own.