In the five weeks since Donald Trump became a Republican presidential candidate, he has insulted Mexican immigrants, rival White House contenders and Arizona Senator John McCain, his party’s 2008 presidential nominee.
That’s just the way his staunchest supporters like it.
Pundits say the real estate mogul, 69, may have overplayed his hand this weekend when he said McCain was not a war hero despite enduring four years of torture in a Hanoi prison as a Navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War.
The feud appears not to have bothered some voters who have made Trump a surprise front-runner among the 16 candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination in the November 2016 election.
Only two of 17 Trump supporters interviewed by Reuters said they would switch their support to another candidate. The rest said they were standing by him.
“I thought it was funny, and I’m a veteran,” said Daniel Elliston, 59, of Draper, Utah.
They are staying loyal to Trump even as business partners abandon him and a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll shows his nearest rival, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, closing the gap among Republicans.
The tracking poll on Tuesday found Trump winning the support of 17 percent of Republicans, effectively tied for the lead with Bush at 18 percent. Trump led Bush by eight percentage points a week ago.