Donald Trump Is Rising In The Polls Because He’s Saying Things Republican Voters Agree With

Republicans have nobody to blame but themselves for the anti-immigrant Frankenstein in their midst.

Trump Announcement

Yet another new national poll shows Donald Trump leading the Republican field, albeit inside the margin of error:

Donald Trump leads all Republican presidential candidates for the GOP primary, according to a new Fox national poll of registered voters released Thursday.

Eighteen percent of GOP voters said they supported Trump, up 7 percent from last month and 15 percent from March.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second at 15 percent, just 1 percentage point ahead of former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Fox News has said that the top 10 contenders in an average of credible, recent national polls will be invited to participate in the first Republican primary debate, and lower-tier candidates are nervously watching their numbers ahead of the Aug. 6 event.

Rounding out the top 10: Rand Paul with 8 percent, Marco Rubio with 7 percent, Ben Carson with 6 percent, Ted Cruz with 4 percent, Mike Huckabee with 4 percent, Chris Christie with 3 percent, and John Kasich and Rick Santorum tied with 2 percent each.

All of the caveats about Trump’s numbers and the hype that they are getting right now that I mentioned earlier this week still apply, of course, but this would seem to be yet another piece of evidence in support of the argument that the Trump phenomenon is not going to be going away any time soon. In the RealClearlPolitics polling average, he’s presently the only candidate other than Jeb Bush in double digits, a new poll of Virginia Republicans shows him in second place behind Bush in the Old Dominion, and another poll of Nevada shows him leading Republicans in that early caucus state. Obviously, this is causing Trump’s fellow candidates no small degree consternation, especially the candidates that are in the second and third tiers in the polls and trying to find a way to breakthrough to the point where they are considered competitive. As long as Trump is in the race, he’s sucking a lot of the oxygen out of the room and that’s bad news for people like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and Carly Fiorina.

Meanwhile, analysts are starting to try to figure out who these Trump supporters are and what’s motivating them to back him:

As it turns out, the Trump coalition looks a lot like the rest of the Republican Party. Other than a spike in support in the Northeast, there is little in recent polling data to distinguish Trump’s supporters from the heart of the GOP primary electorate. Even immigration hardliners support him at the same rate as the rest of the Republican Party.

“It’s a strange coalition of people,” said Patrick Murray of Monmouth University. “We can’t pin them down demographically. … It appears he’s cherry-picked individual voters.”

Interviews with Trump supporters at a rally on Saturday in Phoenix and in New Hampshire, where he was among the first candidates to hire staffers, suggest he is attracting Republicans from many corners of the party who are drawn to his image as a straight-talking businessman who would shake up politics as usual.

“The issues that are driving the average Trump voter are, first and foremost, that he’s not a politician. Secondly, he is self-funding his campaign, so he can’t be bought,” said Steve Stepanek, Trump’s New Hampshire co-chairman, who supported Newt Gingrich in 2012 and Rudy Giuliani in 2008.

“People today are looking for plainspoken people who say what’s on their mind,” said Lou Gargiulo, a New Hampshire activist and Trump’s Rockingham County co-chair who supported Mitt Romney in the 2008 and 2012 Republican primaries.

Trump voters skew older, whiter and more male, but no more so than the rest of the Republican primary electorate.

In a Monmouth poll released on Monday that put Trump in second place and a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released on Tuesday that put him in first, the real estate mogul fared better among somewhat conservative voters and very conservative secular voters than he did among moderates and religious conservatives.

At least in that way, said Murray, they really are like Richard Nixon’s silent majority of middle Americans. “They’re in the middle of the Republican Party. They’re not evangelicals. They’re not hardline social or fiscal conservatives. They’re also not on the liberal side of the party,” he said.

(…)

What Murray can say definitively about Trump is that he is an anomaly. In a Monmouth poll released a month ago, Trump had the worst favorability rating of any Republican candidate among Republican voters, 20 percent favorable to 55 percent unfavorable, a fact cited by many political observers in pooh-poohing his viability. In the poll out this week, Trump’s favorability has pulled nearly even at 41-40. The swing was even more dramatic among self-identified tea party voters, who went from viewing him unfavorably, 55 percent to 20 percent, to viewing him favorably 56 percent to 26 percent.

“I’ve never seen a candidate who’s so well known who was able to suddenly turn around people’s opinions of him,” Murray said.

Even as Republican elites decried his claims about the alleged criminality of undocumented Mexican immigrants (which defy all available evidence) and brands cut ties with him, a large chunk of GOP primary voters were evaluating him in a positive light.

Joan Riscki, 67, a Phoenix resident and retiree, is an independent who voted for Mitt Romney in the general election in 2012. “I usually vote for Democrats, but it’s a bad situation now,” she told POLITICO outside Trump’s rally on Saturday. “They’re all liars anyways. I try not to listen to the news. I listen to KFYI,” a local conservative talk radio station.

Matt Bates, 52, a property manager from Scottsdale, who remains uncommitted to a presidential candidate, said he found out about the Trump event from his in-laws, who had heard about it on Fox News. “He’s not a politician, he’s a businessman,” Bates said of Trump’s appeal.

His wife, Stephanie, 52, a grocery store manager, said she supports Trump. “His views are similar to the GOP, but he’s not in anybody’s pocket,” she said. “You can’t trust the rest of them.”

Hazel Powell, 68, also of Phoenix, is a retired Peace Corps volunteer (she felt the need to leave the country after Obama’s election) and a fan of “The Apprentice,” Trump’s reality show on NBC. “I’ve always liked Donald with his television shows, his aggressiveness. He just speaks the truth,” she said.

The crowd in Phoenix was overwhelmingly white (as is the Republican primary electorate), and Trump’s fellow Republicans have condemned his comments about undocumented immigrants as racist, but Powell said he would eventually win over Latinos. “The Latinos are going to support him because they’re smart enough to know: He’s going to get them jobs.”

Additionally, while many of Trump’s fellow candidates, along the media and conservative pundits even on Fox News Channel are criticizing Trump for his statement on immigration, the same Fox News poll that shows Trump in the lead also shows that Republicans agree with him:

A strong majority of Republican primary voters in a new Fox News poll agree with Donald Trump’s opinions on immigration.

Trump’s been in hot water for saying last month that undocumented Mexican immigrants — some of them “rapists” — are bringing drugs and crime across the border. But when asked to set aside Trump’s wording, 70 percent of Republican primary voters believe that his message is “basically right.”

In more good news for Trump, who leads the entire Republican field in that same poll, 59 percent of GOP primary voters said they admire his “guts,” compared to just 28 percent who dismiss him as a “loudmouth.”

In other words, Donald Trump is succeeding in the polls in no small part because he saying things that a lot of Republican voters agree with. This really shouldn’t be all that surprising given the polling that we have seen on immigration over the last several years which shows that, while Democrats and independents support things like a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, Republicans remain bitterly opposed to the idea and even bitterly opposed to any kind of immigration reform that goes beyond the amorphous and rather meaningless phrase “border security.” After all, these positions are the main reasons why Republicans have not acted on immigration reform at all since taking control of the House in the 2010 elections, and why candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham are attacked by the base because they take positions that are more moderate when comes to immigration. Given all of this, it’s not entirely surprising that Trump’s caustic and indeed offensive rhetoric about immigration seems to be striking a chord among at least some Republican voters. That’s also likely why you don’t see many candidates other than Bush and Rick Perry attacking Trump for the things that he’s said, because they know that even after Trump is long gone the voters who support him will still be there and they’ll remember candidates who disagreed with Trump on these issues. That, I would suggest, is why we see someone like Ted Cruz cozying up to Trump in a way that is almost unprecedented in a primary race between two candidates running for the same nomination.

Republicans are waking up the fact that there’s a monster named Donald Trump in their midst, but the truth is that it’s a monster of their own creation.

 

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    I also think this phenomenon is a function of how early in the process all this polling is taking place. People are more willing to say anything, go with the heart not the head, and not be serious, because at this point it just doesn’t matter.

    It really behooves us to look at this as political entertainment and keep that perspective for the next 6-9 months. This means that holding the debates in August will be looked at as just as ridiculous.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    The RCP average has Trump just half a point behind Jeb.

    Trump says what Republicans believe, and he says it in the style they prefer: fact-free, loud, blustery and angry. Anger is very important to Republicans. The loss of white male privilege makes them furious.

    The beautiful thing is what he’s doing to Jeb and Mr. Walker and poor, little Rubio. He’s making them look weak. If you can’t take on Trump, how you going to take on Hillary?

    And just as beautiful is what he’s doing to lower-tier candidates who, thanks to Fox News, have to nationalize their campaign rather than focus on Iowa and New Hampshire because only the top 10 make the debate as decided by national polls.

    Finally, the great thing Trump does is attract the attention of regular folks who follow celebrity news but don’t obsess over politics. He’s pushing the hate-lies-rage GOP product line out into the general public at a point when the GOP normally likes to whisper privately into the ears of Iowans and New Hampsherites. He makes it harder for the party to pull off its usual dishonest pivot to the middle.

  3. Pete S says:

    “I’ve never seen a candidate who’s so well known who was able to suddenly turn around people’s opinions of him,” Murray said.

    It is amazing what a little open racism will do to help one’s popularity with many Republican voters.

  4. Moderate Mom says:

    I’m guessing that quite a few of the Trump “supporters” are low information voters that recognize his name from watching his crappy reality show. Please, God, make it stop.

  5. CSK says:

    As a slight side note, it’s really hilarious to read about how Ted Cruz is groveling for Trump’s support.: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-07-16/donald-trump-says-he‘s-thankful-for-ted-cruz-s-support

    It’s difficult to imagine a slimier pair of con men.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    “People today are looking for plainspoken people who say what’s on their mind”
    “He just speaks the truth”
    “The Latinos are going to support him because they’re smart enough to know: He’s going to get them jobs.”
    “Republican primary voters believe that his message is “basically right.””
    “they admire his “guts””

    These people are utterly devoid of any ability to detect BS.

  7. Tyrell says:

    The article gives the reasons why Trump is attracting attention, gaining in polls, and making some of the establishment mad (and worried):
    “Plainspoken” he does not read from a script. He does not have a bunch of handlers who direct and choreograph his every move. He speaks his mind and lets the chips fall where they may. The American people love a fighter: look at the way some of the corporations treated him.
    “Silent majority” – the people who are ignored by the professional politicians and the leaders in Washington; middle class working folks. We are seeing this type of thing also in the surge of Sanders.
    “Strange coalition” – and not just Republicans. Around here he has picked up a lot of interest and support from people who are mainly conservative southern Democrats; very few Republicans around here.
    A lot of these people don’t care for Trump personally, and they don’t believe he will be the nominee. They feel that he is the only candidate who speaks for them on the immigration disaster: “what’s on their mind”.
    “He speaks the truth”

  8. Tillman says:

    Ah. One of Elizabeth Kübler -Ross’s five stages of grief: bargaining.

  9. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell:

    Plainspoken” he does not read from a script.

    No teleprompter listing out his offensive remarks as he makes them? That’s a bit sad.

  10. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    A lot of these people don’t care for Trump personally, and they don’t believe he will be the nominee. They feel that he is the only candidate who speaks for them on the immigration disaster: “what’s on their mind”.

    “I used to think he was a jerk, but then he said Mexicans are rapists and murderers, so now I’m on board.”

    Your Republican Party, America. Racist to the core.

  11. DrDaveT says:

    I recently learned that there was a mediaeval literary genre called Fürstenspiegel, or Mirror for Princes. Donald Trump is a Mirror for Republicans — a GOPspiegel, if you will.

  12. ernieyeball says:

    @Moderate Mom:..Please, God, make it stop.

    Good luck telling god what to do.

  13. JKB says:

    Trump is a vent. He’s saying things that need to be said, just to reduce the head pressure. He’ll blow out and cooler heads will offer more rational policy. But DC, Dems and Reps, were trying to keep a lid on illegal immigration and that just let the pressure rise. It isn’t good to suppress an issue, that’s how revolutions are born.

    Right now we’ve got bombastic Trump, the other Republican candidates who should sympathize but bide their time and Democrats, Hillary, et al, who are basically promoting governmental protection for the rapist and murderers who travel along with the tired and downtrodden across the Southern border. Turns out in the SF murderer’s case, San Francisco took special effort to rescue him from deportation, then let him go.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    He’s saying things that need to be said

    Yup…Mexicans are all criminals and rapists.
    Needed to be said.
    Same when Steve King said they all have calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.
    Needed to be said.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I guess the Republicans should just be happy they don’t need any Hispanic votes. That was the lesson of Mr. Romney’s defeat: piss off more Mexicans. Winning!

  16. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Well, actually it does need to be said.

    Saying such absurd things cause rational people, not Democrats, to apply critical thought and thus become more nuanced in their opinions.

    But then, Trump didn’t say all Mexicans are criminals and rapists, but in his inflammatory way of speaking, he did provoke DemProgs to leap on that phrasing. In his own way Trump is a master of manipulative speechifying.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Ah hah hah hah. You think Trump is manipulating Democrats? Trump only scores 18% among Republicans, but 100% of Democrats love the guy.

  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    Trump is a vent. He’s saying things that need to be said, just to reduce the head pressure. He’ll blow out and cooler heads will offer more rational policy.

    Trump is an attention whore, and always has been. For as long as I’ve known him, his primary raison d’etre has been “pay attention to me – aren’t I awesome?!”. As long as he’s still getting his fix, he’ll stay in – and he has the money to keep himself in for a long, long time.

    That’s your nightmare, and the GOP’s. They’re finally having to deal with the monster that they created, and it is eating them alive.

  19. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    LOL, no, what he does is fracture the Republican base even further. The other candidates have the choice of coming out against him, and thereby risk offending the monster, or doing nothing, and thereby cede time and column inches, giving him the floor. They can’t come out and agree with him outright.

    So you have an energized monster coupled with a disheartened and offended remainder.

    100% of Democrats arguably find this spiel of his disgusting, and I’m willing to bet that a majority of independents / moderates do as well.

    So you’d better find a way of countering him (and the monster) if you expect to do anything more than pull another Romney next November.

  20. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Trump is an attention whore, and always has been.

    Exactly. That’s why I had to laugh at the line up above that Trump “can’t be bought”. Trump is 100% bought and paid for — he’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Donald Trump’s Ego Inc. He has less free will than a Koch Brothers puppet.

  21. Gavrilo says:

    Bernie Sanders is polling a higher percentage of Democrats than Trump is polling among Republicans. The difference is Donald Trump has been a national media whore for over 30 years while Bernie Sanders is an obscure Senator from the second smallest state in the country. Please, Doug, continue to lecture us about our crazies.

  22. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    These people are utterly devoid of any ability to detect BS.

    I think part of it is that the right has been raised for the past few decades to think that being obnoxious is inherently a sign of authenticity. It’s what’s behind their attacks on “political correctness”–the idea that taboo-breaking is a virtue in itself, and that the fact that “no one else is saying” something is proof of its worthiness. We already can see examples of it in some of the comments in this very thread:

    @Tyrell: “Plainspoken” he does not read from a script. He does not have a bunch of handlers who direct and choreograph his every move.

    @JKB: Trump is a vent. He’s saying things that need to be said, just to reduce the head pressure. He’ll blow out and cooler heads will offer more rational policy.

    This goes beyond a mere inability to detect BS: the right’s whole conception of “truth” has become inextricably tied to what they think has been covered up. In other words, the greater a statement’s capacity to offend the mainstream, the likelier it is to be true.

    It’s pretty ironic that this would become the outlook of so-called “conservatives,” since it smacks of moral relativism.

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Yup, Sanders is polling at 15%, with a 49 point gap between him and the eventual nominee Clinton. Heck, 52% of polled Dems have no opinion about him at all, while Clinton’s approval rating among Dems remains around 74%.

    So we have one candidate with 100% name recognition and a 74% approval rating among the primary electorate, and another candidate that a majority of that same electorate doesn’t care enough about to even voice an opinion.

    Meanwhile, ALL of your candidates are polling in the same range. The difference between Trump and Walker is a point or two. You have problems that we do not …

  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    LOL, if you think he’s bad on TV, you should have to sit through a business meeting with him. It’s the Donald Trump Show.

  25. Richard Mayhew says:

    @Tyrell: “Republicans. Around here he has picked up a lot of interest and support from people who are mainly conservative southern Democrats; very few Republicans around here.” so you are saying that he is picking up support in states where any Republican who is not raping a dead boy’s body will win while turning off every persuadable voter in anything that remotely resembles a contested state…. Pass the popcorn

  26. MikeSJ says:

    The Republican party has been riding immigration bashing for a long long time now. The one thing they haven’t done is anything concrete about it.

    So in defense of the right wing base they’ve been told over and over through their media that illegal immigration is a horrendous problem. And they see nothing, zilch, gets done about it.

    Now here’s Trump taking advantage of this perception. The fact is Trump was encouraged with his Birther schtick by the right wing; now they have to reap what they sow.

    As to how far Trump can go? I have bad news in that the perception among many people is illegal immigration from Mexico is grossly out of control. If you were to ask them what Hispanic immigrants bring to this country they will answer: Crime, Gangs, Graffiti, Barrios. That’s a belief held by millions of people.

    The truth is the immigrant wave was badly handled and their are negative consequences that impact communities . Ignoring those means people like Trump can capitalize on this problem.

    An honest politician would tell people industry needs these people, farming, construction, service industries would be devastated without them. But they would also tell them taxes would have to go up to pay for the medical and educational costs associated with them.

    Aint gonna happen.

  27. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MikeSJ:

    In the end, I think it devolves to “The Republican Party is delivering the fastest growing demographic in the United States almost entirely to the Democrats for the foreseeable future”.

    To which we reply: “Thanks”

  28. Pete S says:

    @gVOR08: This is so true. There is no way Trump actually believes most of his nonsense except when he is talking about how great Donald Trump is. He just found the fastest way to get above 10% polling so he can get on the debate stage and really let his ego go. He is definitely smart enough to realize that a racist anti-immigrant rant would connect with enough Republicans to get him on that stage.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: look, Trump’s a jerk who appeals to the resentful why-isn’t-it-still-the-1950s section of the population who prefers to think that it’s Them Horrible Immigrants which are the fons-et-origen of all evil in their life and the fact that they’re not making zillions of dollars a year. Yup, anything to keep from looking at the fact that a) their jobs were sent abroad via globalization, b) any financial benefit has accrued to the 1%, rather than the actual workers, and c) they’re going to continue doing it.

    Yup, keep tuggin’ that forelock, boy. Maybe at some point the mahsteh will toss you a penny.

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Pete S: I can’t figure out his endgame. He’s stayed in longer than I expected already, hard to back out from here. But he’s pandering so heavily it seems he can’t be expecting to ever be in a general election. Unless he thinks the general electorate is even more of a box of rocks than I do, and he thinks he can just reverse everything he’s said.

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    Saying such absurd things cause rational people, not Democrats, to apply critical thought and thus become more nuanced in their opinions.

    Yes…because this so-called critical thought has lessened the xenophobia of the Republican Party so much in the past. I mean…was that meant as snark?

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: “Resentiment”. Blaming someone other than themselves. And they’re way more comfortable blaming someone weak, while the .01% work hard to keep it that way. Divide and conquer.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    I can’t figure out his endgame

    You’d have to know him in real life to really understand how deep it goes, but it really is indeed about his pathological need for attention. The guy arranges everything in his life to make himself the focus of accolades, attention and approval. 24/7, it’s the Donald Trump Show.

    Exemplar – clients typically come to our offices, for a variety of reasons. Trump, no – you go to him, and the conference room we normally use (I shyt you not) has his chair slightly elevated above the others around the table. I can’t really do justice with a narrative on here to the depths of the man’s obsession with himself, but trust me, spend an hour in the same room with him and it will become (all too) clear.

    This campaign is 100%, IMO, about that same objective. It’s like giving a heroin addict access to a heroin factory. As long as he’s still getting stroked, they’ll have to drag him kicking and screaming from the stage. The only thing he can’t tolerate in any form is being ignored.

  34. gVOR08 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Thanks.

  35. Pete S says:

    @gVOR08: With Trump it is always about attention and money. So far the attention part is working great. I fully expect him to announce shortly something to the effect of “I had always planned to finance my own campaign, but so many people have said they want to get involved by making a contribution that it would be selfish not to let them”. The media hangs off every word he says, so he won’t need to buy ads. He can just claim that his whole life is dedicated to the campaign since he no longer has a TV show or merchandising, and keep the money for himself.

    And as long as he keeps making obnoxious remarks he has no danger of getting elected president. That would be too much of a pay cut and too hard of a job for him to actually want it.

  36. ernieyeball says:

    This is refreshing.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com

    After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

  37. CSK says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Perfect. Kudos to Huffpo.

  38. JKB says:

    Now, it is amusing all this expectation Trump will even remain slightly viable by the time the primaries roll around. He’s a long hot summer rabble-rouser. He’s saying the absurd to give vent.

    But I’d be surprised if he was much more than a footnote by December. But until then, enjoy the show.

  39. Neil Hudelson says:

    @JKB:

    Really? You are “Great News for McCain-ing”* Trump?

    Ok, have fun with that.

    *GNMC (TM)

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @Kylopod:

    It’s pretty ironic that this would become the outlook of so-called “conservatives,” since it smacks of moral relativism.

    Nothing ironic at all: moral relativism has always lain at the heart of conservatism. Hell, even their loudmouthed denunciations of moral relativism are themselves an example of moral relativism, since they denounce in others what they practice themselves. IOKIYAR.

  41. michael reynolds says:

    OT but interesting: where are the compelling attacks on Mr. Obama’s Iran treaty? I haven’t seen anyone really lay a glove on him, just people whining that they didn’t get a pony.

  42. C. Clavin says:
  43. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Yes…it’s really quite amazing.

  44. stonetools says:

    What Trump is saying is the purest expression of Cleek’s Law:

    Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.

    with the corollary that “today’s conservatism” must be couched in terms calculated to offend the maximum number of liberals possible. That it is what makes the conservatism truly authentic.

  45. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    OT but interesting: where are the compelling attacks on Mr. Obama’s Iran treaty? I haven’t seen anyone really lay a glove on him, just people whining that they didn’t get a pony.

    Yes, the opponents aren’t even able to come up with remotely convincing arguments against it. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely good enough, which isn’t nothing.

  46. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    For once, conservatives seem to be unable to mount an attack, even of the self-evidently nonsensical but loudly repeated kind. I guess they understand that Americans are war weary and truly, truly do not want another major war in the Middle East. Four thousand Americans dead to no apparent purpose is a lesson not even conservatives can ignore.

  47. Tyrell says:

    Trump will pick up some independents who are looking for someone who is different, and some Democrats who are tired of hearing that hey are all going to vote for Hillary. But when people tire of the immigration tirade, Trump will lose the attention and excitement he is stirring, then he will head out the door, leaving a lot of slack jawed people standing around wondering what happened. Hillary will need to take some bolder stands and get some innovative ideas out there instead of using the 2007 play book or her political science 101 college textbook. Let’s face it, she is not a great speaker and is not as personable as Bill. She will win on her experience, leadership skills, and organization. But cataleptic inducing speeches and Oprahesque discussions won’t excite anyone. She needs to go up to the high dive instead of playing it safe on the low dive. Still, someone who shows independent thought and boldness, who will break free from the news networks, who doesn’t care what the party line is, could surge ahead and stay there. I am wondering just who that could be. I am wondering ……

  48. humanoid.panda says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    “Republicans. Around here he has picked up a lot of interest and support from people who are mainly conservative southern Democrats; very few Republicans around here.”

    No matter how you read this, Tyrell is a genius.

    Either he is the best troll ever, or he had invented a time machine, and corresponding to us from the 1970s.

  49. Kylopod says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    moral relativism has always lain at the heart of conservatism.

    Here I must part company. What I’m describing goes back only a few decades. While I’ve never been into the whole “Buckley would be spinning in his grave if he saw the GOP today”-style of liberal concern trolling–I think many of the things wrong with today’s GOP can be traced directly to Buckley, including racist demagoguery–I would not describe Buckley as a moral relativist.

    What I’m talking about began in the 1980s with the conservative critiques of “political correctness” on college campuses. The original critique had some legitimacy to it, pointing to some genuinely cringe-worthy fads in American universities (e.g. Afrocentrism) and a somewhat stifling atmosphere. But since that time, the backlash against PC has gone so far afield that it has in many ways become exactly what it was supposed to be attacking.

    Nowadays, “I’m not PC” means little more than “People who are offended by what I say should take a hike.” I was once reading a blog discussion where a commenter referred to a particular author as an idiot. The blogger said he agreed with the commenter’s criticism but added that there was no need to engage in ad hominem attacks. The commenter retorted, “Oh, don’t be so PC.” What struck me was that the discussion didn’t have anything to do with politics.

    One problem is that it’s totally in the eye of the beholder when sensitivity goes too far. “I’m not PC” can be used to justify literally anything–and has been. Hey, I believe that a wife should submit to her husband and that if she doesn’t, he should beat her with a frying pan. You offended? That’s just because you’re too PC, but you know it’s the truth, and the fact that you were offended proves it!

    This was a sick game to begin with, but it became also a vacuous one when conservatives started caring less about what they were offending people with, and simply got attached to the fact that they were causing offense. Their purpose now is to get a rise out of what they see as the liberal, PC establishment (a concept they tend to define very broadly), and the means of provocation has become almost secondary. That’s what makes it relativist: it’s a sick exercise in outrage for outrage’s sake, and it seems to owe more to shock jocks than to the more traditional conservatives of the 1960s.

  50. humanoid.panda says:

    @MikeSJ:

    As to how far Trump can go? I have bad news in that the perception among many people is illegal immigration from Mexico is grossly out of control. If you were to ask them what Hispanic immigrants bring to this country they will answer: Crime, Gangs, Graffiti, Barrios. That’s a belief held by millions of people.

    Other beliefs held by millions of people: UFOs, Kennedy assasination, Obama is a Muslim, Bush invaded Iraq for the oil, and many many more. A political system can’t accomodate all beliefs, and would become a disaster if it tried.

  51. the Q says:

    Yes Trump is an idiot and moron and an egocentric loon, but how many illegals from Mexico/L. America can California absorb?

    10 more, 1000 more, 2 million more, 10 million more? Come on fellow libs, whats the answer? Give me your number.

    I’ve lived in California for 70 years. We have 100k illegals in our jails at a cost of 40k a year, thats $4 billion right there.

    I graduated from UCLA and to think that kids come out of there with 80 or 90k in debt is the death of the American dream. We spend more in California on our prison system than on higher education. Any lib here think that is wrong? And if it is, why not the outcry about the huge (1 in 4) illegal jail population sopping up huge amounts of the state budget (not to mention the prison industrial complex feeding off these inmate numbers) ?

    Trump is tapping into a problem that you are ignoring. I am an old New Deal Democrat. I think economic inequality and the wealth gap is the biggest problem. I might even be described as an FDR Marxist.

    The truth of the matter is that illegal labor is destroying wages structures. Wingnuts love the cheap labor, Dems the votes.

    The middle class gets squeezed between well meaning dolts and greedy 1%ers and they are pissed.

    In 1978, I saw Howard Jarvis and thought he was a cranky old fool….an irascible joke, yet I also knew what he was peddling was political dynamite – and it was. Brown and the legislature could have easily solved the issue – bifurcate residential and business real estate tax assessments, but they too underestimated Prop 13 and we, and the nation. have suffered their folly in not acting sensible tax relief. Now, California is constrained by this old initiative.

    Similarly, as we devolve into a banana Republic of haves and have mores, the neglected Trump “voter” will become so hardened that common sense solutions to the problem (amnesty law abiders/deport criminals) will become unattainable.

    And for any of you who think the border is “sealed”, just ask yourself how a guy who was deported 5 times could murder an innocent Californian on the Embarcadero if the border is “sealed”.

    Comments calling me a New Deal Marxist RACIST in 5….4….3….2…1

  52. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    I can’t figure out his endgame.

    Ambassador to the Cayman Islands.

  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Tyrell:

    Let’s face it – at this point, Clinton could just about walk out onto a stage, point at the assembled GOP primary candidates, state “I’m not them” and have a decent shot at breaking 50% of the popular vote.

    They’re already tap dancing around the edge of the abyss, and it’s not even February yet. Scary to think how much further each of them will travel to the (far) right trying to convince the crazies that they, and only they, are the True Scotsman before it’s over with.

  54. wr says:

    @the Q: So what’s your solution?

  55. MikeSJ says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    If I saw a Disney show with a character just like Trump I’d say it was over the top.

    Even for a cartoon he’s too cartoon like.

    You can’t make this stuff up, but boy is it entertaining.

  56. MikeSJ says:

    @humanoid.panda:
    Other beliefs held by millions of people: UFOs, Kennedy assasination, Obama is a Muslim, Bush invaded Iraq for the oil, and many many more. A political system can’t accomodate all beliefs, and would become a disaster if it tried.

    My personal favorites are Creationism, believed by tens of millions and Scientology, believed by Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    The nuttiness aside there is the potential for a huge wave of support for Trump.

    I don’t think what he’s saying is appropriate or in any way useful – I do hope he fizzles out soon – but be prepared for him to make a much bigger impact riding this issue than you expect.

  57. the Q says:

    WR:

    The solution is very much like the Senate bill of 2013, with a few changes.

    Amnesty law abiders with a path to citizenship. Deport the criminals and seal the border tight.

    I think if the average OTB liberal saw what was in that bill regarding the number of H1B visas and the number of EB 5 visas he/she would be appalled.

    Again, Dems bring in mass new green card holders, wiping out wages even in such places at So Cal Edison and Disney Word as technical workers making 100 to 150k have to train their Indian “guest serfs” as their replacements who make half. This is a frightening trend and must be stopped.

    The Senate bill 2013 vastly increases their numbers.

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:

    Actually we spend a little less on prisons than we do on higher education, 9% vs. 11%. Illegal aliens are believed to be perhaps a tenth of the total prison population.

    The reason our prisons are full is not because of illegals but because of idiot voters who let themselves be terrified into passing insane and inhumane sentencing laws. Get rid of the non-violent 3-strikes cases, get rid of the marijuana charges altogether and knock the low-level dealing down to misdemeanors and we’d spend quite a bit less.

    The reason our colleges are so expensive now is because Republicans have made it their business to attack the UC and State systems.

    I’m a California taxpayer and I pay a fair amount of that at the top rate (13%) so I’d love some relief, but blaming illegals is just scapegoating. We had a recession. We had a real estate crash. We are recovering from the effects of all that, and we are recovering now from the malice of Republicans who made governing the state impossible.

    Now that we’ve essentially marooned the last few Republicans you’ll notice the state has made a remarkable recovery. Our bonds are rated A+, unemployment has been cut in half and is now just a point behind the country as a whole, and God help us the real estate market is once more headed straight up, at least in the Bay Area.

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:

    Oh, and we’re having the worst drought in history.

  60. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ve seen some good analyses of where a few experts think we may have given up too much in certain areas, but no serious analysis have I found tries to claim it’s a truly bad agreement.

  61. Grewgills says:

    michael reynolds and that’s what liberal policies will get you, drought.

  62. David M says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    The worst I’ve seen is basically a warning that there are still other issues to be dealt with, the Iran problems don’t all go away with this agreement. (But it’s the middle east, so yeah, always plenty of issues)

  63. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:

    Also this, from those communists at the Wall Street Journal and written by that wild-eyed liberal Jason Riley, author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed”, clearly a left wing screed:

    They might start by pointing out that numerous studies going back more than a century have shown that immigrants—regardless of nationality or legal status—are less likely than the native population to commit violent crimes or to be incarcerated. A new report from the Immigration Policy Center notes that while the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. more than tripled between 1990 and 2013 to more than 11.2 million, “FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined 48%—which included falling rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Likewise, the property crime rate fell 41%, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary.”

    A separate IPC paper from 2007 explains that this is not a function of well-behaved high-skilled immigrants from India and China offsetting misdeeds of Latin American newcomers. The data show that “for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants,” according to the report. “This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the undocumented population.”

    It also holds true in states with large populations of illegal residents. A 2008 report by the Public Policy Institute of California found that immigrants are underrepresented in the prison system. “The incarceration rate for foreign-born adults is 297 per 100,000 in the population, compared [with] 813 per 100,000 for U.S.-born adults,” the study concludes. “The foreign-born, who make up roughly 35% of California’s adult population, constitute 17% of the state prison population.”

  64. michael reynolds says:

    @Grewgills:

    Liberals are very, very thirsty people.

  65. the Q says:

    Mr. Reynolds, I agree with all your points, but I think we tend to gainsay some real issues here with this problem.

    I think the GOP in general is racist on this issue. Its not the illegals, its the brown skin tone. I get that and agree.

    But, there are some serious economic issues that we don’t address and in that vacuum, the Trumpster will fill it with distortions and lies.

    Corporations have found it financially beneficial to go to Congress and ask to import ever greater numbers of cheaper foreign labor rather than pay their home grown laborers more. For all the talk about the free market or supply and demand, some corporations have chosen to apply those principles only when it benefits them. If demand for IT workers should cause wages to rise, they will insist they can’t find workers at all, rather than pay higher wages.

    Established in 1990, the federal H-1B visa program allows employers to import up to 65,000 foreign workers each year to fill jobs that require “highly specialized knowledge.”

    The Senate bill triples that number to 180,000!!!!

    Also, we are developing a permanent non voting underclass who are marginalized and exploited by capital.

    Meat packing wages have declined 44% in two decades after Hormel and other meat packers destroyed the unions. It is well known that African Americans have been particularly hard hit by these lower cost workers.

    In conclusion, by not addressing serious problems with immigration, we liberals are making it easy pickings for the Donald to demagogue.

  66. michael reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson: @David M:

    I’ve been kind of amazed. I assumed we’d be getting deluged with “analysis” from the right-wing think tanks. Nothing but hand-waving. A lot of, “You can’t trust Iranians!” to which the answer is, No, duh: that’s why we have the best and most intrusive inspections regime ever. Or the inevitable, “You can’t negotiate with evil!” Aaaaaaand. . . who do you negotiate with? Denmark?

    Weird after all the eye-rolling, hand-wringing and rending of garments. Surely Bibi, recognizing the imminent existential threat, will get his F-16s in the air without delay.

  67. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @gVOR08: On the other hand, aren’t these also the voters who said about that governor from Texas (I can’t remember his name just off-hand) words to the effect of it taking a lot of courage to execute a guy you know is innocent?

  68. Scott F. says:

    @the Q:

    I don’t think liberals were the difference between progress and failure on immigration reform in the Senate by any stretch of the imagination. The Democrats are pretty unified on a path to citizenship for “law abiders” and deportation for the criminals – it’s on the Right that “amnesty” is a dirty word.

    Demagogues are going to demagogue. Nothing the left has done has set the circumstances for the xenophobic rantings of Mr. Trump.

  69. Tyrell says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’ll drink another caramel latte to that. Hillary has experience and knowledge on the ins and outs of how things get done in Washington. She will be adept and wise in dealing in the cigar smoke filled back rooms.
    Lyndon Johnson – the most skillful politician in US history.
    “You got to when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em” (Rogers)

  70. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:

    Dude, I’m with you on the H1B visas, and I tend to agree that illegals drive down wages. But I also suspect the wages they’re driving down are their own.

    Let me give you a perfect example. Here in Marin County (Strawberry, to be precise, a sort of extension of Mill Valley) we have a McDonalds and an In-N-Out within about a quarter mile of each other. (Also my favorite cigar store, but that’s beside the point.)

    Mickey D’s pays minimum wage and the lingua franca is Spanish. In-N-Out pays 3 bucks an hour more and the language spoken is English. The “complexion” at McD’s is brownish and the In-N-Out is whitish. Are all those guys at McD’s legal? I rather doubt it. Even the people on the drive-thru are barely intelligible.

    The In-N-Out kids are just that – kids, living at home. The McD’s crew is more mixed, far older on average, and yet they’re earning less because we don’t pay Mexican adults as well as we pay white kids.

    But with an unemployment rate of 3% and an average household wealth three times the national average and average rents at $6,286 a month, we don’t exactly have a bunch of unemployed anglos looking to drop fries for minimum wage, or even for $12 an hour. In-N-Out is straining to stay staffed, and there’s only the one in all of southern Marin. If we want burgers we need Mexicans and Salvadorans, regardless of wage.

    Our “ghetto” is called Marin City. Cheapest rent I see there is a one bedroom for $1400 a month. A full-time In-N-Out worker makes $1920 before SS and other deductions. Call it $1800 net, if he can get a full 40 hour week. That means rent takes 78% of his earnings.

    Bottom line, if we disappeared every Mexican and Salvadoran hundreds of businesses would simply have to close and there would be no labor supply to come in and take over. We need Mexicans, legal or not. Far more dangerous than illegal aliens coming in is the possibility that they might stop.

    I’m looking down the hill at a dead tree. It’s a fire hazard. I should get rid of it. Guess what language the guy who removes it will speak.

  71. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @wr: Well, I was going to note that paragraphs 2,3,4,5,7,8, most of 9, and 10 had no relationship to paragraph one, but I decided not to feed the troll instead.

  72. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @the Q: You and Reynolds simply don’t understand the genius of the market. It is the very fact of getting whipsawed in the labor market place that provides the impetus for these unemployed workers to go out and find the capital to go into entrepreneurial businesses (the ground of American Prosperity [TM]).

    And for the others, Jeb! is right, they just don’t understand hard work!

    (I back slid–sorry.)

  73. DrDaveT says:

    @the Q:

    Established in 1990, the federal H-1B visa program allows employers to import up to 65,000 foreign workers each year to fill jobs that require “highly specialized knowledge.”

    The Senate bill triples that number to 180,000!!!!

    Apologies if I’m missing sarcasm here, but that’s one 20th of one percent of the population. Effectively zero, in other words. Where’s the beef?

  74. ernieyeball says:

    Bottom line, if we disappeared every Mexican and Salvadoran hundreds of businesses would simply have to close and there would be no labor supply to come in and take over. We need Mexicans, legal or not. Far more dangerous than illegal aliens coming in is the possibility that they might stop.

    Homebuilders take a ‘beating’ from lack of labor

    McGuinn cites two contributing factors to the shortage. First, it was slow for so long that a lot of the trades people went into different fields. Second, new federal mandates on immigration laws:
    “We’ve lost about two-thirds of our Hispanic and South American population in South Carolina, and that has had a profound effect on labor,” said McGuinn.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/17/homebuilders-take-a-beating-from-lack-of-labor.html

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MikeSJ:

    An honest politician would tell people industry needs these people, farming, construction, service industries would be devastated without them.

    Bullsh1t. Bullsh1t bullsh1t bullsh1t. Americans would have to pay more and corporate profits would be less. OH!!! THE TYRANNY OF IT ALL!!!!

  76. michael reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yes, in principle, but not in reality. It’s not just that “Mexican” jobs don’t pay enough to attract “Anglo” workers, it’s also that many of those jobs are below the radar for any Anglo worker, period. We have a sort of caste system in place. Mexicans and Salvadorans are our “untouchables.” They do the sh!t jobs. When you and I get old enough to need our diapers changed the person doing it will have brown skin and speak with an accent. There is no long line of Anglos looking to get in on that fun – white unemployment is below 5%.

    We are exploiting the fact that we are a first world nation with an endless supply of third world employees just over the border. We do it with Mexicans, the Germans do it with Turks, the Israelis do it with Palestinians.

    I suspect there is a thought in the back of many people’s minds that goes like this: If we only got rid of the illegals, we’d have plenty of jobs for black people. I don’t think anyone thinks white people will suddenly move to Delmarva to start boning chickens, not with a white UE rate of 4.7%. I think there’s this unexpressed assumption that those jobs will go to black people who have a 10.2% unemployment rate. White people aren’t rushing to pick strawberries, white people wouldn’t pick strawberries at gunpoint let alone at any reasonable wage. No, what gets white people upset is that some of those brown people, having started out as barely-paid day labor are now making 50k as plumbers or roofing contractors.

    So, I think the current furor over illegals is closely related to a race-based caste system. I think angry whites have two beefs, both unvoiced: 1) Unemployed blacks are living on tax money and if they’d only go do the sh!t jobs Mexicans do we’d be able to reduce taxes, and 2) Mexicans are escaping their caste and getting into occupations whites want to keep. In true Atwater style this turns into “a flood of illegals” and “border control” and “overwhelmed schools” and all the rest. But the beliefs, the emotions, the passions are all around loss of white privilege and white self-pity.

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @the Q: I would think that at least one of the parties (D or R) would be banging the drum loudly for mandatory checks on all employees for ALL employers, with fines with teeth in them if any of their employees turn out to be illegal.

    What it all boils down to is we loves our cheap gardeners/painters/tomato pickers and aren’t willing to pay the prices for such services/goods if we actually insisted all our workers everywhere were legit.

  78. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    The article gives the reasons why Trump is attracting attention, gaining in polls, and making some of the establishment mad (and worried):

    I’m a liberal and I’m pleased that Trump is (for now) polling so well. Modern Republicans love very opinionated, shoot-from-the-hip, blustery, unthoughtful politicians, and Trump is certainly all of that. I hope Trump polls well all the way up to the convention. Frankly, Democrats could hardly ask for more.

  79. An Interested Party says:

    What it all boils down to is we loves our cheap gardeners/painters/tomato pickers and aren’t willing to pay the prices for such services/goods if we actually insisted all our workers everywhere were legit.

    This ties in with the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country…we love all the cheap shiny objects we can buy that are made in China, among other places…it would be nice if someone could explain exactly how “free trade” is so great for American workers…

  80. grumpy realist says:

    @An Interested Party: I find that as I get older and crankier, I’m becoming much more of a Wobblies type.

  81. Carol says:

    We were two of the “crazies” that drove three hours to see Donald Trump in Phoenix, AZ. We just wanted to see him in person and not have the media twist and leave out things that he says. After hearing him speak our opinions changed. And as for Mr. McCain. What Mr. Trump said is true. But of course they twisted what he said. Mr. McCain does not do what he says for us veterans. Time for him to retire. No matter what after all is said Mr Trump says what all us “crazies” want to hear. They always us the race card and time to listen to what he really says. We believe he will make America Great Again.

  82. DrDaveT says:

    @Carol:

    No matter what after all is said Mr Trump says what all us “crazies” want to hear.

    Indeed. Aptly put.

    (Michael, is that you? Fess up.)