Including 22 percent of Republicans.
Photos of Oprah and Trump by Scott Olson/Getty Images
In more evidence that 2018 won't be any more sane than 2017, the polling company Rasmussen Reports went boldly where no other pollster thought to go and actually asked voters if they'd vote for Oprah Winfrey over Donald Trump in 2020. The finding: They sure would.
Rasmussen called up 1,000 likely voters on Monday and Tuesday, immediately after Oprah's powerful Golden Globes speech had a lot of pundits and others asking if the self-made billionaire and media mogul would run for the White House. Forty-eight percent of respondents favored Oprah, 38 percent backed Trump, and 14 percent were undecided. Notably, a surprising 22 percent of Republicans would vote for Oprah even though she'd presumably run as a Democrat.
There are a few big caveats here. For one, this is only a single poll. For another, the question asked voters, "If the presidential race in 2020 was between Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey, who would you vote for?" and a lot of respondents would presumably vote for almost anyone or anything running against Trump in 2020. Then there's the fact that according to her friend Gayle King, Oprah isn't considering running for anything. Finally, if Oprah did run, she'd presumably face a Democratic primary field crowded with senators and other politicians—who knows if she would make it past Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, or any of the other dozen or so potential contenders?
But if nothing else, this poll shows that the Oprah 2020 speculation isn't dying down. People may not be taking it quite seriously yet, but people didn't take Trump seriously either. Trump himself didn't seem to be worried, judging by his response to a question about her on Tuesday: “Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun.”
Follow Harry Cheadle on Twitter.