Wednesday, February 03, 2016

On Trump's Appeal

Many folks are declaring his loss in Iowa as the beginning of the end, in part because his brand is "winning." The difficulty here is that we've never had a candidate like him, so guessing what his supporters will do is tough. My own view is that this "winning" thing is a distraction.

Trump's supporters are not society's winners. They're anxious and angry, and some are marginalized. They feel the political system has failed; whatever their individual fears (immigrants, loss of status, paycheck problems, etc), the GOP has been failing them for 20 years. They back Trump because he is NOT a typical Republican--he's not the latest in a series of standard-issue pols who will talk conservatism and then go to DC for business as usual.

It just doesn't make any sense to me that a second place finish in Iowa changes anything for these voters. Rubio and Cruz are very clearly creatures of government. Trump voters are going to jump on their bandwagon just because Trump didn't "win?" That would suggest a very shallow level of engagement.

Maybe so. I certainly don't hang out with folks who have been magnetized by Trump. But for seven months, pundits and the media have underestimated the true support Trump has had. This seems like yet another example of their failure to get Trump's appeal.

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