Regular readers know that my disdain for Donald Trump of only a couple of months ago has given way to the excitement of a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. I just can’t wait to see more. How far can reality TV go before it is our collective river of reality, not just one of many tributaries? All the way to the presidency?
When can I laugh at the man again and not worry about it?
Although the Donald is riding a great wave right now, the waters figure to get more and more choppy in the months ahead, something I will speculate upon as time goes by. But I’m riding his surf board piggy back until the upsurge. No matter how it eventually plays out, the future of The Candidate reality show is secured. It’s a big hit that figures to remain big for months to come. Perhaps the great greatest success of this consummate narcissist.
There has been endless theorizing how Trump has pulled this off, but the recent Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll breaks it down as well as anybody, so let’s take a look at what they have to say:
“Donald Trump‘s startling transformation from reality TV star to serious presidential contender in the eyes of some key Republican voters happened because he’s been able to sell himself as the straight-talker most candidates aspire to be, a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows.
A look underneath the poll’s headline numbers, which put Trump atop the GOP field in the state that holds the nation’s first nominating caucuses on Feb. 1, suggests the New York real estate mogul is making the sale in large part because of qualities that aren’t part of the average political résumé. Everything that conventional wisdom says would torpedo his candidacy is instead making it stronger.
Penchant for brash pronouncements: Thirty-seven percent of Iowa’s likely Republican caucus-goers say the billionaire’s willingness to “tell it like it is” is the most attractive feature of his candidacy, according the poll.
Lack of political experience: Trump’s next best-scoring assets, at 18 percent each, were his success in business and the fact he’s not a career politician.
Ostentatious lifestyle: His outsized wealth came next in the list of qualities that voters find attractive, with 12 percent saying they like it because it might free him from outside influence. Seven percent said Trump’s most attractive quality was that he’ll do what he says he’ll do.
“I think he would be a good change to have the government run more like a business,” said Trump supporter Garrison Reekers, 43, a deputy sheriff from Belle Plaine, Iowa, who participated in the poll. “He can afford to pay his own way so he doesn’t have to take special interest money.”
So there you have it, or much of it. Go to the poll and you can find caucus goer mentality sliced and diced in numerous ways. Two points stick out in my mind. First, that of these projected caucus goers, 35% of them don’t believe President Obama was born in the United States, with the number rising to 46% of Trump supporters. OMG! Are they still around in such numbers?
Funny, as the birther movement was forging my image of Trump as political clown, it was planting the seeds of his present campaign. I lose. The Donald wins. (So far).
Second, while Trump gets a favorable response in terms of most campaign issues, especially the economic ones like world trade and job creation (in the 80’s), his worse two ratings are in “working with congress to get things done” (43%) and “improving race relations” (42%)…….
If predominantly white Iowans (over 90% in the state), many of them supporters, see Trump as weak on those last two issues, can you imagine the rest of the country giving him higher marks?
How do you become elected president if race relations and working with congress are your two weakest suits?
Well, it depends on how frustrated and angry we are down deep with our present collective circumstances. How desperate we are to find a simple solution in the form of a savior. As shocking as it would be here, it wouldn’t be the first time in history a dictator has been elected.