I think I finally understand why Trump has done so well in the polls for so long, despite his controversial statements and cluelessness on the issues, and why he’s doing better than Cruz, even though Cruz is much more conservative.
It all comes down to uneducated, blue collar white voters. They’re voting based on personality and name id rather than policies and ideology. They simply can relate a lot more to Trump than to Cruz. At first this seems counterintuitive. How could the poorest GOP voters relate to the richest candidate, a celebrity tv star from liberal NY no less?
But when you really break it down it becomes clearer. Even though Trump came from a privileged background and has been rich his entire life, he talks and acts much more like an uneducated blue collar worker. A lot of the things Trump says aren’t necessarily smart or eloquent, but they are common sense, and are what the average blue collar worker in america is thinking, whether it’s on immigration, muslim refugees, or trade deals.
When these GOP primary voters look at Trump, they see the man they wanna be, and a man who speaks for them and represents their beliefs.
They want a nominee who’s a doer, not a talker, cause that’s who they are. They see that in Trump, and they don’t see it in any other candidate.
The blue collar workers I’m referring to are the blue collar conservatives and moderates who stayed home in 2012 that Cruz has based his entire campaign on. The problem is he’s assuming most of them will vote for him in 2016 if he can get them to the polls. That’s not necessarily true. They stayed home because they didn’t like Obama at all and certainly couldn’t relate to him, being that he was a rich liberal elitist who couldn’t have been more different than the people they interact with every day.
But they couldn’t relate to Romney either and didn’t like him at all, he was just a republican version of the rich elite candidate who is out of touch with middle american. He worked in the financial sector most of his life and spent most of his life in the most liberal area of the country, Massachusetts.
These voters didn’t care that he was more conservative than Obama and clearly would’ve made a better president. They figured even if he would improve the economy and do better on foreign policy, he didn’t care about people like them and therefore his programs and policies probably wouldn’t help them or make their lives any easier. They figured he would help the rich but wouldn’t do anything for them as president.
I see this same dynamic going on with them and Cruz, although certainly not to the same extent. Cruz came from Texas so that’s obviously better than being from a liberal state, but he went to Harvard and spent his life in law offices and working for the gov’t, as a supreme court clerk, as solicitor general of Texas, and as a senator.
He speaks eloquently, but it’s in a language these voters don’t understand or relate to. Trump might be rich, but he doesn’t have the eloquence or quite frankly the intelligence of someone like Cruz, and that puts him on a much closer level with these voters. They see him as one of them. When you see a candidate that way it doesn’t matter what he does or says, or what policies he supports, you’re gonna support him no matter what because he’s the only candidate in the race who represents the common man, and that makes you believe he’s the only one who will fight for the common man and fix the problems the common man wants fixed.
That’s why he hasn’t dropped in the polls at all. He’s combining support from pretty much all categories: evangelical, conservative, moderate, blue collar, non-religious, etc., except for establishment.
Cruz thinks Trump will eventually fall in the polls and his supporters will mostly switch their support to Cruz, but that’s a big assumption to make. I believe Trump isn’t just taking support from Cruz, he’s taking support from all of the candidates because his appeal stretches across income, religion, ideology, age, and race.
I actually think he’s taking the most support from candidates like Christie and Kasich because they’re the straight talkers who come from states with a lot of blue collar workers who appeal to those voters, which is exactly the kind of voters who are supporting Trump and who make up the biggest percentage of his support in the polls.
I could be wrong, but I don’t see how Cruz picks up all these voters, assuming they leave Trump in the first place, and if he doesn’t, I don’t see how he gets enough conservative votes to win the nomination. The establishment and educated voters will probably coalesce around Rubio, which means Cruz would have to get the majority of the conservative and blue collar uneducated voters to beat him.
But if he’s splitting those votes between himself, Trump, and Christie, he’s not gonna have enough to beat Rubio, and we’ll have the same thing happen that happened in 2012, when Romney won by consolidating the establishment voters while Gingrich and Santorum split the conservative and blue collar voters.
The big question that remains unanswered is this: what is or will be different this time around that will cause conservatives to rally around one conservative candidate, namely Cruz? If they don’t, he won’t be the nominee, so his supporters better hope there’s an answer to that question at some point.