Yes, Donald Trump has a solid core of support among GOP voters. About 30-35% support him, and will likely continue to do so, for the near future, no matter what he says or does. They are unflappable. Indeed the fervor of their support rises with each attack on Trump by the MSM.
Just as the Democrats have long capitalized on the willingness of LIVs ( low information voters) to keep on pulling the donkey’s tail, er..voting lever, Trump has caught lightning in a bottle with Republican VPOVs (Very Pissed Off Voters)
A good many of my friends and acquaintances are representative of those who support Trump. And they all share two main characteristics in common. They are mad; and they are scared,
They are mad at what Obama has done to this country, and they are madder still at a GOPe that for 7 years has been near complicit in allowing him to wreak havoc on the America they love.
They are scared at what they see happening in the world. The wars, the terror, both abroad, AND AT HOME. And they see an administration that is utterly powerless to do anything about it; indeed one that fails to even recognize that there is a problem.
And in Trump, they now have an outlet for their anger and fear. He speaks to their concerns, when for seven years almost nobody inside the Beltway would do so.
I detest and despise Trump. From the first day he announced, I said he was a “buffoon, a self-promoting, monomaniacal, narcissistic blowhard.” I said his candidacy would turn out to be a disaster for the GOP (and that was months before the first debate proved my point)
But when good people, the solid, salt-of-the-earth GOP base… have been scammed, deceived, indeed, outright lied to for seven years by the GOPe..told that after giving their time and treasure to elect Republican majorities in Congress…well, oopsie, my bad, sorry, but their’s really nothing that we can do about almost anything..it’s no wonder that they are ready , nay..eager to turn to someone who gives voice to their collective angst.
Indeed, given all that, what is actually surprising is that Trump’s support seems to have plateaued at about 30-35%. If we define the state of mind of the GOP base as both scared and pissed off, then Trump, as the one who speaks to those emotions, should be polling well over 60%.
That he hasn’t done so is in part due to the initial cast size of the GOP primary field. Once it is culled down to 3-5 candidates, as will soon happen, you’re going so see support shift and coalesce around one or two others.
Put it this way: At present, Carson, Rubio, Christie, Bush, Paul, Fiorina, Kasich, and Huckabee TOGETHER poll about 40%. (Note that I’m excluding Cruz here)
If and when any or all of these drop out of the race, do you see any of them doing so in favor of Trump? Obviously, no.
More importantly, do you see ANY of their support migrating to Trump? Again, no…because it would have done so already.
Cruz is a different matter. He’s carefully, and brilliantly, avoided antagonizing any of Trump’s supporters, yet still clearly defining the differences between the two.
So, to all those who fret about Trump’s polls, where do we go from here?
As the GOP field pares down, more and more the debate will be about substance. With Trump, as Gertrude Stein put it, “There’s no there, there.” Plus, he’s more likely than not to step on his crank again, and say something that finally goes beyond the pale.
In horse racing, when their is a prohibitive favorite, the “field” (anyone but the favorite) gets a lot of play. In the GOP primary, for several months, it’s been the field v. Trump. That’s about to change.
As soon as support coalesces around a solid alternative, I think you’ll see Trump’s numbers drop, and likely cap at 10-15%.
Trump is the latest iteration of a false prophet; a snake-oil peddler, and the vast majority of the Republican base is too smart to be taken in by the bombastic rhetoric. And just like Trump’s pretentiously coiffed hair, his candidacy won’t hold up in a political storm.