Thursday, June 25, 2015

All the political pundits...

...seem genuinely surprised by Donald Trump's rise to second place behind Jeb Bush* in a recent poll in New Hampshire. How to explain it? From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump’s surprising strength could reflect a protest vote and dissatisfaction with the other candidates. The Suffolk poll showed him with a lower favorable rating and higher unfavorable rating than any other Republican, which makes his second-place showing somewhat dubious even as it may temporarily embarrass his rivals.

Blah, blah, blah.

Here's my take: anyone who watched his announcement speech (and I watched it a few times) could tell you that Donald Trump almost perfectly embodies the Republican Party id -- he says everything the typical tea partyer is feeling. More like Ronald Reagan than any of the other current GOP candidates, Trump tickles the average Republican's basic, instinctual drives. And, again like Reagan, Trump speaks in a clear, easy to understand voice. No matter what you thought of his speech, I would ask you to point out one thing that was not squarely in line with mainstream Republican Party sentiment.

Oh, and here's the acid test: my mother likes him. And when white seniors who watch Fox News all day like Trump, then you know he's resonating. Remember, that's the party's base.

Now, do I think Trump is in it for the long-haul? No. I think he'll find an excuse to drop out before Iowa. (I can't see him actually losing something; he's too proud.) But will the New York real estate tycoon cause a boatload of agita for GOP bigwigs in the meantime? To quote another famous Republican, "You betcha!"

* Can you imagine Trump on a debate stage with Jeb? He'd crush him.

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