Donald Trump is not conservative but he is not fringe

(h/t Ace of Spades)

There are many who view Trump as an unserious and a fringe candidate whose followers are little more than the 2016 version of Ron Paul’s goofs. National Review nearly has a collective aneurysm at the mention of his name and, contra The Federalist’s David Harsanyi, the debate on Thursday was far from substantive and the questions asked showed very clearly that Fox News set out to sandbag some candidates, and Donald Trump was one of them.

This is simply self-defeating thinking. Anyone with access to several billion dollars is a very serious candidate.

The idea that Trump’s supporters are some fringe element of racists and xenophobes that have coalesced around a ‘man on horseback’ is similarly mistaken.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s debates, an outfit called Echelon Insights polled a group of likely Republican primary voters who had watched the debates. They tweeted the results.

debate poll

If we assume this poll is as accurate as any other poll, and let’s recall that the polls that determined who was on the stage Thursday were often very skeevy, we can see that the percent of likely primary voters who thought Trump won (we can probably assume that these are his supporters to a great degree) is pretty close to the overall poll numbers he gets nationally.

The same poll also shows what we already know: that Donald Trump is pretty much a Northeast Republican.  He certainly is not attracting any measurable support within the GOP from any fringe element. Now I might quibble over the axis labels but when you look at who Trump is grouped with it is hard to disagree that the methodology is consistent.


debate poll issues

When asked why they supported their particular candidate this is what respondents had to say:
debate poll reasons
Again, no surprises (okay, maybe supporting Santorum because of experience is a shock).

There is nothing surprising in this poll, but is verifies what anyone outside the political-activist bubble knows. People are sick and tired of the GOP, they are sick and tired of spin, they are sick and tired of Obama and they want a candidate who is politically incorrect and who will fight to win. Actually, they want EXACTLY what we here at RedState have been campaigning for since I joined the site in 2004. The problem now is that we have what we want but we’re finding we don’t really want it.

Unfortunately, the GOP establishment (for reasons I completely understand), and we here at RedState (for reasons I can’t fathom), are sliding slowly and inexorably towards excommunicating Trump and his supporters. Not because they more loud or obnoxious than any other candidate supporter but because Trump is an unpopular candidate and because a fringe elements of racists are attracted to his views on immigration… not because of what he proposes but because of how he has voiced those views. This is the type of action that gets the GOP, rightly, labeled as the stupid party.

The GOP tried twice to marginalize another very rich guy named Ross Perot who also spoke his mind (just like with Trump this was not an unalloyed blessing). As a result we twice had Bill Clinton elected with less than 50% of the vote. If we continue to treat Trump and his supporters the way we are treating them we have no one but ourselves to blame when Hillary Clinton is inaugurated in 2017.

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