Election 2012: Donald Trump Losing Favor Even Before He Enters the Race

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A 'Terrible Handicap for Trump'

The score is calculated by determining the percentage of voters who have a strongly favorable view of a candidate and subtracting the percentage of voters who have a strongly negative view of that candidate. Trump's rating fell to zero in the most recent Gallup survey.

By comparison, Huckabee topped the field with a score of 24. Palin and Gingrich had scores of 18 and 11, respectively.

"It's a terrible handicap for Trump," Newport said. "It's not a good position at all for someone trying to get his party's nomination."

Added Birdsell: "Trump's numbers might not be insurmountable if he didn't have all the problems he would encounter in a campaign; opponents pointing out the massive flip-flops on social issues, on tax issues, on a whole host of policy questions, on abortion."

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