A new poll suggests that if Donald Trump is to stay at the top of the Republican Party, the party must reach into its past and find the time for new Twitter jokes and the kind of political satire that he has long been known for.
The survey by Public Policy Polling shows Trump leading Republican nominee Mitt Romney by 4 points nationally.
That would mean that if Trump is reelected, Romney will need to win at least 30 percent of the vote nationally to retain his party’s nomination.
Public Policy asked the public what kind of humor they thought Trump would have, and whether or not they thought he would ever tweet again.
Trump’s tweet about the recent shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona was seen as an effective joke, garnering more than 3 million retweets.
But it was far from the first time he has tweeted about the shooting.
The tweet that has since been widely criticized was a reference to a news story about Giffens daughter, who was shot and killed in 2012.
In addition, Trump also made a similar reference to the shooting in 2012 in a tweet on March 23.
A spokesman for the Republican National Committee told NBC News on Tuesday that he could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the poll results, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Republican National Chairman, Reince Priebus, also told NBC that the poll is not a good indication of the general election campaign.
“There’s a lot of people who like the joke, a lot more than the number of votes that are needed to win,” Priebus said.
“But it’s not clear what they mean by that.”
Romney, who had to fight off a primary challenge from former Sen. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, has the edge in national polls, which are typically taken in a few days.
Public Party of Iowa polling director Matt Kibbe said in a telephone interview that the public’s reaction to Trump’s comments about Giffs daughter may be a key factor in the race.
“The more the media talks about it, the more people are aware of it, and they’re less likely to take the joke,” he said.
Trump, who has been in the news recently after being criticized for his comments about a woman who sued him, said on CNN on Tuesday evening that he would not respond to the question about whether he would tweet again because “nobody wants to talk about that.”
The Republican nominee has not yet responded to a request for comment from NBC News.
Public Policies is the same firm that conducted the last Republican presidential debate in February, where Trump said he would vote for Mitt Romney if he were president.
A number of Trump’s former political opponents, including former New York Gov.
George Pataki and former Sen., Joe Biden, have since endorsed him.
Romney’s campaign did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.
The Public Policy poll was conducted from Feb. 14 to 19 among 1,828 registered voters, and has a margin, or error, of plus-minus 3.9 percentage points, or 17 percentage points overall.
It has a sample size of 991 adults and has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage the full sample of registered voters.
For more on the 2016 election, visit NBCNews.com.