While looking at the poll number it struck me: ‘Where is the establishment vote?’
The New York Magazine believes that it is being divided amongst 4 candidates: Bush, Christie, Kasich, and Rubio. But even this seems misguided. With Jeb Bush’s 4.8%, Chris Christie’s 3%, John Kasich’s 2.4%, and Rubio’s 10.2% you’re still only at 20.4%. Are we really to believe that the establishment support only accounts for 1/5th of the current makeup of the party? I’m skeptical.
Maybe Rubio is receiving a chunk of establishment support but it can’t be all of his 10.2%. He was a Tea Party candidate, after all, and from online support it appears he is gaining the support of many evangelicals who think Cruz fails to extoll Christian virtues. Rubio talks the religious talk and even has his own religious liberty advisory board formed by a young but upcoming Eric Teetsel, Rubio’s director of faith outreach. But given that Rubio is only polling at 10.2% nationally, and that not all of that is establishment support, there must be some other candidate that is receiving the support.
The candidate receiving the establishment’s support is none other than Donald Trump. Surprisingly Trump attracts both establishment and anti-establishment support. The anti-establishment support he receives is from wooing people with words while the establishment support quietly comes from people who have considered his policy positions and knows he’ll continue to do business as usual in Washington. Trump consistently talks about fixing problems (anti-establishment sentiments) while also outlining big government solutions (single-payer, expanding presidential authority, restricting free speech on the internet, tariffs upon imports, etc.).
I think the reason why anti-establishment folks continue to support him is that he talks out of two sides of his mouth (requesting Megyn Kelly not moderate the last debate but then later denying it) and he only has 5 official positions … yes, 5 issues on his website. The latter point makes it difficult to truly see where he stands on numerous important issues such as the federal government’s role in education funding, housing funding, decreasing national debt, the USA’s role with Israel, EPA regulations, etc.
This theory, that Trump is the establishment’s candidate also makes sense of Bush’s attacks on Trump. True, Trump has led in the polls, but it makes better sense of the data we have that the reason why Bush is so annoyed and angry at the Donald is because Trump has stolen away his support.
If you’re really concerned about stopping the establishment don’t look to Bush, Christie, Kasich or even Rubio … Trump is their man.