New York real-estate mogul and media personality, Donald Trump, is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination. Here are the top ten reasons why Trump will prevail.
10. He's the best of a weak field. The latest Huffington Post National Republican Primary poll of polls shows Trump in first place (30.7 percent), followed by Surgeon Ben Carson (12.1 percent) and 15 candidates in single digits. The early favorites Jeb Bush (8 percent) and Scott Walker (4.8 percent) have faded.
Moreover, rank-and-file Republicans don't like their Washington leaders. Before Trump came on the scene, most observers thought that the real leader of the Republican Party was Roger Ailes, head of the Fox News Network; now it's "the Donald."
9. Trump is a media magnet. Before the first GOP debate, 538 noted that Trump attracted far more media attention than the other candidates. After the debate, the Los Angeles Times observed, "Trump gained the most Twitter followers during the debate, was the most discussed on Facebook, and was involved in the majority of incidents in which candidates brought their opponents into the discussion."
8. Trump speaks for the GOP base. Trump's stance on immigration has gotten a lot of press but what hasn't been noted is that on many issues his position is at odds with the GOP leadership. For example, Trump's attitude on trade differs from that of the Washington establishment: he's opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership. As another example, Trump doesn't care for Wall Street. A recent poll found that 65 percent of Trumps' Iowa supporters, are either "unsatisfied" or "mad as hell" at Wall Street; among other things, Trump opposes the "carried interest loophole" the Financial industry loves.
7. Republicans like his brashness. A recent article noted that Trump leads among evangelical voters because of: the weakness of his competitors, his attacks on President Obama, his link between religious liberty and religious persecution, and his brashness.
6. He's consistent in his inconsistency. Trump is more accessible to the press than any of the other GOP contender. When he bloviates, it doesn't hurt him. In the first GOP debate Trump called Obamacare a disaster. Then he was asked why he had once supported a single-payer system. Trump responded, "[single payer] works in Canada... in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you're talking about here."
5. He won't back down. Since Trump announced his presidential candidacy, on June 16th, he's made numerous inflammatory statements: He said John McCain was not a war hero. After the initial Republican debate, Trump said Fox News star Megyn Kelly had questioned him unfairly, "she had blood coming out of her wherever." Trump refused to apologize for these remarks. (MSNBC found that in the past fifteen years Trump has only apologized twice.)
4. Trump seized the initiative on the number 1 GOP concern. A recent NBC News/WSJ poll found that Republicans and Democrats don't agree on the top issues facing the US. 27 percent of Republicans think "national security and terrorism" is the biggest issue; another 8 percent say it's "immigration." Trump has linked these two issues and staked out a position so extreme that none of the other GOP contenders can outflank him.
3. He's a narcissist. Duh! All politicians are narcissists but some more than others; among the most successful Republican politicians are uber-narcissists such as Ronald Reagan. Psychologist Maria Konnikova notes that Trump has all the signs of "narcissistic personality disorder" including "an exaggerated sense of self-importance," "a sense of entitlement," and a lack of empathy.
2. Trump is funding his own campaign. A recent CBS News poll found that one-third of Republicans prefer candidates that self-fund. When Bush, Cruz, Fiorina, Rubio and Walker "interviewed" with the Koch brothers, Trump tweeted: "I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?"
1. Trump represents White Power. It's been fifty years since Republicans launched their "southern strategy" taking advantage of southern white democrats disillusioned by the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. While GOP presidential candidates -- Nixon, Reagan, Bush(s) -- flirted with racism, none staked out the extreme territory that Trump inhabits. (McCain and Palin came close with angry rallies where spectators called Obama a "socialist," "traitor," and "terrorist.") Trump has tapped into deep-seated racial antagonism. A new Public Policy poll found that "Sixty-six percent of Trump's supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim... Sixty-one percent think Obama was not born in the United States." Unsurprisingly, Sixty-three percent of Trump's supporters want to eliminate birthright citizenship. At Southern rallies Trump supporters yell, "white power."
Hold onto your sanity! We're going to be seeing a lot more Trump.