A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Saturday shows 1/3 of Republican Trump supporters could abandon the party in some form or fashion during the presidential election.

The poll asked two questions: if Trump wins the most delegates in the primaries but loses the nomination, what would they do on Election Day, and how would it impact their relationship with the Republican Party?

Surprisingly, 66% of the Trump supporters polled said that they would still vote for the Republican nominee, even if it wasn’t Trump.  But the remaining 34% were all split between not being sure what they would do, and engaging in some sort of protest.

Eleven percent said they would support a third-party candidate, another 11% weren’t sure what they would do yet, 6% said they would not vote at all, while 4% said they would vote for the Democrat candidate.

As far as their relationship with the Republican party as a whole, 58% said they would stay with the Republican party.  Sixteen percent said they would leave the GOP (hey, they were probably Democrats in the first place if they’re supporting Trump), and 26% said they didn’t know what they would do yet.

Although the original Reuters report portrays this negatively for the GOP (“Blocking Trump Could Hurt Republicans In Election”), this is actually encouraging news to me.

If this poll turns out to be right, there could be 66% of Trump supporters who aren’t too far gone; that’s 2/3 of Trump supporters who realize that conservative values matter most.  Sure, you could argue if they really understood that, they wouldn’t be supporting Trump, but let’s take it one step at a time.

Then again, there are people who took the poll like Chuck Thompson, a 66 year old from North Carolina who stated, “The people want Donald Trump.  If they (the Republican party) can’t deal with that, I don’t need them.”

No.  “The people” do not want Donald Trump.  He is the Republican frontrunner because a subset of the Republican party has lost their minds.  He by no means represents the majority of the Republican party, and obviously doesn’t represent the majority of Americans.

That’s why polls have him losing to Hillary Clinton.  That’s why polls show his unfavorable numbers at a whopping 70%.  That’s why “the people have spoken” argument is one of the most ridiculous notions this election season.  He doesn’t even represent a majority of one party.

And so, if this poll is correct, the takeaway is that his presence in the race threatens conservative values either way.

If he gets the Republican nomination, he definitely screws the GOP because Hillary will eat him alive and the GOP will lose the election by double digits.

If he loses the Republican nomination, his presence could screw Republicans over anyway.

That’s quite a legacy.