The Rise of Trump
Donald Trump’s rise from rank outsider to frontrunner in the race to become Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election has been nothing short of meteoric. He is leading in all of the national polls, and many of the state polls. His campaign, which was initially disregarded by political experts, is all of a sudden being taken very seriously.
Can Trump win the nominee?
It’s perhaps important to understand why Trump’s message is resonating with voters. The common theme is that Republicans have been left behind, corruption is tying the hands of politicians who are slaves to their donors and immigration – particularly illegal immigration – is out of control. The latter is forming the cornerstone of Trump’s bid for presidency, and his willingness to tackle the issue has so far won him great praise from the Republican base.
After what Republicans consider to be two torrid terms of Obama, they are craving a strong leader to help restore America’s place on the world stage. When they look at Trump, they see a genuine alternative – someone who can stand up to Mexico at the border, and take on China and Japan in trade. Since Trump is a successful businessman, and not a career politician, he is thought of as somebody who can get things done, instead of simply saying what the public wants to hear. His promise to be radical and make genuine changes is what has seen him sweep to the top of the polls.
Tackling corruption is also seen as one of his strong points. Trump openly admits that he played the system, giving money to politicians so that they would do what he wanted. However, he claims that he would be a different type of president because he doesn’t need anybody’s money. If he can maintain that status of being the outsider who is in it for the people and not profit, then he has a chance.
No matter what gaffes Trump seems to make, none of them have adversely affected him – if anything, they have made him stronger. Comments about Mexicans being “rapists” and his spat with Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly were expected to contribute to his demise, but they have not done so. Expecting him to falter through a scandal like so many do is probably wishful thinking.
Trump’s competition is relatively poor too. Jeb Bush, who was for a long time the most fancied contender, has failed to capture the mood, and he is suffering badly from the offense Trump has launched on him. Bush is not strong on immigration either and that has left him trailing. His surname probably isn’t helping – do Americans really want another Bush?
Will Trump win?
Trump’s message is popular, and there is no one in the 17-strong GOP field that is going to be able to take the limelight from him. However, there are still five months to go before even the Iowa caucuses, so plenty is yet to happen. Motivating the vote will also be tricky, convincing people to actually get out there and cross the Trump box is easier said than done. But that said, he has a real chance – far more than anyone ever thought when he announced. Make no mistake, Donald Trump is currently the favourite to become the Republican nominee.