The Student Blog Post series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential field in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, not only in vote preferences but in expectations as well. This is extremely remarkable for someone like Trump who is considered a political outsider. Donald Trump has been able to acquire backing from 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered to vote, easily enough to retain his frontrunner status. Amongst all Republicans, 42 percent expect Trump to win the GOP nomination for president. And given a list of six potential nominees, 43 percent pick Trump as having the best chance to win the general election just more than a year from now. According to the poll, Trump is faring well on many key attributes. Statically speaking, nearly half of those who lean Republican view him as the strongest leader; 39 percent of Republicans think hed be the person to handle immigration, and lastly, 32 percent feel he understands issues that affect them. In each one of these cases, Donald Trump is leading the other top-five contenders for the nomination. However, the article does pinpoint an area of weakness for Trump. When it came to him being honest and trustworthy, Trump lagged behind the five major Republican candidates. Even so, Trumps candidacy is very much bolstered by desire in the party for a political outsider, 57 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they rather have a person outside of politics than someone inside leading them. This is very interesting to see, many people would have never imagined Trump being the frontrunner for the Republican Party. Some people feel that this is just Trumps momentary pause in the spotlight, but that assumption might be ruling him out too early.
According to the article Donald Trumps 2016 presidential run, explained the author lays out key points on why Trump is leading. One of the main points are the absurd statements made by Trump on certain issues like immigration where hes stated that he would deport all illegal immigrants and have Mexico build a wall. He even went as far to criticize John McCains military record saying he was no war hero because he allowed himself to get captured. Many believed that these comments would lead to Trumps downfall in the polls but it didnt. The fact that Trump is willing to speak his mind is what causing people to tune in to what hes saying. Donald Trump is the type of person to say like it is and doesnt sugarcoat anything. Many people are finding that type of attitude very appealing. Another key point to consider is that the fact that Trump is a celebrity, his high profile business career and TV shows means he benefits from large amounts of name recognition. Trumps celebrity status also means he can talk candidly to his base in ways other candidates can’t. He doesn’t need to sway billionaire donors with persuasive speeches to attract their support. Furthermore, Trump’s stances on domestic policy are in line with mainstream Republican ideals with regards to abortion and same-sex marriage. However, its unclear whether he truly believes in these ideals or is doing it as a mere tactic to attract votes, however what candidate today doesnt flip flop around to attract as much voters as possible? For those who feel that Donald Trump doesnt have a solid chance at winning the nomination should think again. We could be seeing Donald Trump win the Republican Party nomination. I would even go as far as saying Trump has a fair shot at even winning the White House if he keeps this momentum going, but only time will tell.
Alex Castaneda is a third year political science major who enjoys hanging out with friends and playing soccer on his free time.