Saturday, June 27, 2015

Trump-Star Rising!

Here is the current consolidated polling for the GOP Primary:
In second place is Donald Trump. This should give anyone pause--but hey, say pundits, it's nothing to be concerned about:
Legal Insurrection:The lesson here is to not get too worked up over Donald Trump and whatever early polling success he has. It is not likely to last once primary voters get to know the candidates more and have a chance to really listen to their ideas. Trump will do well, early on, but it largely will not matter.
Politico (Are Trump's Polling Numbers Too Good To Be True?) “Do I think it’s a substantive measure of his real support? No way. But do I think it recognizes that he has some name recognition that other candidates don’t have?” Cullen said of the poll. “What I have observed of coverage of those events is that they seem to be made-for-TV events where there’s no authentic interactions with the candidate and voters.” 
Cullen stressed that this isn’t a matter of the Suffolk poll’s accuracy, just name recognition.
On the other hand:
That's What Noah Rothman Was Linking To
What About The Donald?
 The Omnivore isn't sure that the name-recognition thing checks out. Consider these charts:

FiveThirtyEight: Why Donald Trump Isn't A Real Candidate In One Chart
He's more disliked than, well, anyone--but Chris Christie is at the bottom of the polls with his horrible favorability rating and Trump is at the top. Additionally:
Trump has been underwater for some time.

In other words, it isn't just that he's well known--it's that he's well known for being an asshole. So why's he winning?

Really: Why's he beating out guys like Dr. Ben Carson and Marco Rubio who are far, far more likable than he is? Is it really that he's that much more well-known? The Omnivore doesn't think so.

What The Voters Want: A Weapon
When you get a divorce sometimes you want the attorney who is the biggest, most awful asshole you can find. This is because that attorney will be your weapon against your significant other--you can't go in there and mix it up personally--but they can. In that scenario being a jerk is a selling point.

The Omnivore has heard a lot of talk about "amicable divorce" (meaning secession without a very, very high body-count) among the right and thinks that's not coincidental. Trump is unlikable and that's exactly what you want when you really, really hate the person you're going up against (Obama by way of Hillary Clinton . . . with a side of the GOP establishment).

This was the same conclusion The Omnivore came to when analyzing the behavior of the Tea Party vs. their Stated Values: That Tea Party candidates--especially the wacky ones--were 'human hand grenades' hurled at the administration. A lot of them didn't win--couldn't win--but that was fine: the votes cast made their point.

What Does This Mean?
People who think Trump will be a good thing for the party (check the byline and search this post!) should be careful in assessing what the base-voters want. The base voters, at least as of today, are very, very angry. We have Huckabee threatening promising a constitutional crisis when elected. We have Jindal offering to 'defund the court.' We've got Ted Cruz calling for a convention to recall supreme court justices.

These are real-world serious candidates who are competing for a small margin of polling-space and have to contend with Scott Walker who has also called for a new amendment. In this fray Trump is NOT a complete outlier--indeed, he's free to go where no one else is because in the same way Hillary doesn't need the press (and is effective without granting them access) Trump doesn't need donors (and is effective without pandering to them). Trump is the un-cut stuff a substantial portion of the base wants. He's selling a premium product.

While the smart money says his star will dim and, yes, he will be relegated to the dust-bin of candidate history along with Michelle Bachmann, it is quite possible that he will reveal a serious appeal that is more than skin-deep. This should concern anyone who cares about the dignity of the GOP and the election be fun to watch!

1 comment:

  1. Stolen from a Twitter contest: "If Donald Trump gets elected President, there'll be hell toupée!".

    -- Ω