The most amazing thing about Trump is that his supporters think he can WIN next fall

You may have seen that Donald Trump’s support in South Carolina has now reached the dizzying height of 40 percent of respondents who identify themselves as likely GOP primary voters.

No, the bubble hasn’t popped yet, even though everything we’ve seen in past elections would suggest it would have happened a couple of months back.

Do you wonder why? I certain do. Well, here’s why:

The conventional wisdom among Donald Trump’s detractors is that his current surge in the polls won’t last because as we get closer to actual voting, Republicans excited by his political incorrectness will start factoring in “electability.” When GOP voters realize that he can’t beat Hillary Clinton, the theory goes, they will switch their support to other more electable candidates.

One problem with that theory: Right now, GOP voters believe Trump is the most electable candidate.

A new Post/ABC News poll asked GOP-leaning voters which candidate “has the best chance of getting elected president in November 2016?” The winner was Trump by a landslide. An incredible 43 percent of GOP voters say that Trump is the most electable GOP candidate. In a distant second place, Ben Carson trails Trump on electability by 27 points, while Jeb Bush — whose entire rationale for his campaign is electability — trails Trump on electability by 30 points. Since the same poll found Trump with 32 percent support, that means even GOP voters who do not support Trump still believe he is most likely to beat the Democrats in 2016. A new Associated Press-GfK pollconfirms this, finding that “Seven in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters say they think Trump could win in November 2016 if he were nominated; that’s the most of any Republican candidate.”…

That may be the single most amazing thing that I’ve read or heard about the continuing popularity of this guy.

I suppose there’s a sort of cognitive block that prevents Trump supporters from imagining how non-Trump supporters see things. So they imagine a majority will agree with them.

I suppose all of us are susceptible to such lacks of insight. I, for one, find it very difficult to understand how anyone could imagine Donald Trump winning the presidency next November. This is perhaps a defense mechanism on my part: If I could imagine it, I wouldn’t sleep nights…

5 thoughts on “The most amazing thing about Trump is that his supporters think he can WIN next fall

  1. Norm Ivey

    Question 15 asks who respondents think will win the general election. Responses were 37%-20% in favor of Hillary. The respondents were pretty equally split between Dems and Reps with a handful of others. So even though 40% of Reps think Trump can win, that’s pretty much ALL that think he can win. It’s like they have an incomplete world view.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I’ll admit I’m leaping to an assumption here, but I’m GUESSING the thought process goes like this: All right-thinking people support Trump. Everyone should be right-thinking. Even if people aren’t, they SHOULD be. And since that is the case, this being America and everything being as it should be, Trump will win. Because he’s a winner. Just ask him; he’ll tell you…

      Yeah, I know I leaped from one line of thought to another, and neither one of them adds up, but we’re not talking logic here.

      Don’t mind me; I’m just riffing…

  2. bud

    Trump has tapped into something. Not sure what exactly. He doesn’t seem inspirational (Reagan, Eisenhower, Obama). He’s definitely not a visionary (Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt). His bombastic rhetoric precludes getting anything done (Clinton, Johnson, Nixon). He seems to have no leadership skills (FDR, Lincoln). I don’t get his polling success. But apparently his national polls are slipping a tad.

  3. Juan Caruso

    “I suppose there’s a sort of cognitive block that prevents Trump supporters from imagining how non-Trump supporters see things. So they imagine a majority will agree with them.” – Brad W.

    Well, yes and no. Hillary has ample skeletons in her closet, not least of which is HRC’s health – a serious varicose vein problem inducing low blood pressure, fainting episodes, chronic vein thrombosis (clots) and stroke). Is she on cumadin, Xarelto or aspirin?

    If Trump wishes to trounce her, regardless of what the “majority” wishes, he certainly can, but does he really?

    Meanwhile, “Betting Markets Call Marco Rubio Front-Runner in G.O.P.” (so, polls at this stage may be misleading?). We can bet on that:

    Everyone is a wishful thinker at this stage, Brad, including you. Were Hillary to be elected, the nation’s pitiful standard for electability could be reduced to a new low that makes Donald Trump look an attractive choice.

    Sooner or later an influential minority will come to realize the depths of racketerining influence and networked corruption that has been exercised by elected lawyers and their corporate clients, K Street lobbyists and pathetic, and the journalist obfuscators who twist facts.


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