Ever since billionaire business man and reality television star Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential ticket, the pundits have been predicting his demise. First, no one thought he was serious. They thought that they he was just in the race to build the Trump brand. Secondly, they thought that the public would never fully embrace a Trump presidency. In fact when Trump started gaining momentum, the voters’ growing infatuation with him was described as a summer romance which would end with the fall leaves. Thirdly, many were expecting Trump to spoil the election by splintering the Republican voter base with a Ross Perot type third party maneuver.
So far, these three predictions have all proved to be wrong. Trump has repeatedly conveyed that he is in the race to win it and has released very specific platforms on immigration, tax reform, and other areas. As of this writing, he is currently leading the Republican pack in the national polls at 35% vs. his nearest competitor Ted Cruz at 20%. He has enraptured a segment of the Republican and independent base with his blunt talk and plans to build a big, beautiful wall to keep out illegal immigrants coupled with a promise that Mexico will pay for the wall. He has also simultaneously courted friends and foes with his comment that he wants to ban the entrance of all Muslim immigrants until our government can create a better vetting process as to whether the aforementioned Muslims have terrorist ties. Finally, Trump has also publicly stated that he will not seek a third party run if he is treated properly by the Republican Party. And so far, he has kept his word.
However, despite Trump’s leading the polls and his dominating the media with his every comment, the Republican Party establishment continues to refuse to accept him as their candidate. In fact, Karl Rove, the former top advisor to former President George W. Bush, recently published an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal where he stated “If Mr. Trump is its standard-bearer, the GOP will lose the White House and the Senate, and its majority in the House will fall dramatically.” He further added, “If the nominee is Ted Cruz the situation is still dicey.” The party’s perceived rationale for refusing to rally around Trump is that they want to align themselves with the candidate who has the greatest likelihood of defeating Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton in the national election. The former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady continues to have a significant lead in the polls at 52% over her rival, self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I- Vermont) who is at 33%. Mrs. Clinton remains the presumed Democrat candidate despite her many scandals including Benghazi, email-gate and the Clinton Foundation.
The argument that Trump will have difficulty defeating Hillary in the national election is starting to lose ground. A newly released poll from the Washington-based organization Mercury Analytics which assessed likely voters based on online questions and a “dialtest” related to Trump’s newly released advertising campaign, reveals that “nearly 20 percent of likely Democratic voters say that they’d cross sides and vote for Trump. The survey also revealed that 14 percent, of Republicans claim that they’d vote for Clinton.” Interestingly enough, the analysis further demonstrated that the Democrats “crossing over” for Trump claimed to be “100% sure” of their intention vs. the Republican Clinton supporters whose decision was less secure. 25% of the Democrats surveyed “completely agreed” and an additional 19 percent “agreed somewhat” that Trump’s advertising campaign raised some good points.
Obviously, while Mercury Analytics’ poll is just one poll, it is an indicator that Trump’s message is not completely falling on deaf ears with the liberal elite voters. It also reinforces the idea that Democrats are not all necessarily thrilled to call Hillary Clinton their golden girl. While some Democrats may say that they will still vote for her even if they have to hold their noses to do so, there are other Democrats who are willing to think outside the box and consider another alternative.
The “Trump Democrat” phenomenon is clearly a reaction to the current perceived weakness of the Obama administration. As President Obama embarks on his last year in office, he is struggling. His foreign policy has not been working. We are living under the daily specter of terrorism from both external radical Islamic extremists and home-grown sources. Our president is viewed as a weak leader by his peers. On the domestic front, race relations under our nation’s first black president have regressed back to that of the 1960s when we had riots in the streets. And on the economic front, the news isn’t good either. The week of January 4th, the stock market lost 1,079 points or 6%. This represents the Dow’s worst five-day start on record. Everyone is looking for change. And maybe Donald Trump with his big, bold, blunt plans to “Make America Great Again” is just the ticket.
Image: Courtesy of Gage Skidmore @ https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%