Trump's short-lived lead

By Mitchell Blatt
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 16, 2015
Adjust font size:

Billionaire Donald Trump on Tuesday formally announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, ending years of speculation that the U.S. real estate mogul and TV reality star would one day enter politics. [Photo/]

There's an old adage in Republican politics that when Bill Kristol defends you, you know you're done.

Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, famously flubbed his predictions that America's invasion of Iraq would turn the country a flourishing democracy, that Hillary Clinton would win the 2008 Democratic nomination without a fight, and that Sarah Palin would make a great vice president.

Now Kristol is one of the few conservative commentators defending Donald Trump. "It's ridiculous. It's very, very foolish if the Republican establishment and Republican candidates treat him with disdain," Kristol said in an interview with Newsmax TV on July 8.

Anyone who has been paying attention to Trump lately knows just how wrong Kristol is and how deserving of disdain Trump is. Trump is a megalomaniac with a long history of personal scandal, an inflated sense of self-worth to compensate for non-existent self-awareness, and a personality that has all the crassness of Don Rickles with none of the humor. Case in point: When National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg accurately called Trump "a bad deal for the GOP," Trump shot back that Goldberg "couldn't buy a pair of pants."

Trump responds in like form to other conservative pundits - and just about anyone - who criticize him. He called the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes a "failed writer," the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer "a dummy," George Will "the most boring political pundit on television," and Michelle Malkin "born stupid."

That's not the language of a presidential candidate; it's that of an internet troll, and that's just what Trump is. Over the years he has gotten into feuds with just about every celebrity who ever mentioned his name. He threatened to sue a journalist for calling him a millionaire instead of a billionaire. He questioned the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate and expressed an ungrounded fear that vaccines cause autism, both positions which in and of themselves could prevent a candidate from winning a national election.

So now we arrive at the question of why Trump is leading the polls. According to the Huffington Post and Pollster average on July 6, Trump is leading the national Republican primary race with 16 percent of the vote, followed by Jeb Bush at 13 percent. Trump is also leading in some individual states including Iowa, the first primary state.

He doesn't have a broad base of support, however, and 16 percent of the vote wouldn't be enough to win an election. Trump's success reflects the fact that he has a small group of hardcore supporters that has given him just enough backing to lead the polls amid the many other people running. When the field narrows, however, he won't be able to improve much on his 16 percent.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from