Could Donald Trump really win the Republican presidential nomination?
Despite being subject to much controversy, Donald Trump’s campaign is still alive and well. Over the course of the nominee period, Trump has made comments and suggestions that would normally be unthinkable even by the standards of the Republican Party. His audacious remarks have been met with abject criticism and condemnation from the media, and political figures across the globe. In Britain, where I live, over half a million people clamored to sign a petition which would prevent Trump from entering the country; after he called for a ban on all Muslim’s entering the United States “until our country’s representatives figure out what the hell is going on”.
Not only has his campaign has withstood such bombardment, his popularity is actually booming. Many believed the flame of ‘Trumpmania’ would be extinguished after this torrent of disapproval. Yet it didn’t happen.
Of course, this is unsurprising, if you consider the attitudes of voters towards his policies; especially Republicans. One poll showed that 59% of Republicans actually supported his Muslim ban. 15% of Democrats did too – despite only being a minority, one still would imagine such a policy to be taboo within the Democrats.
On top of this controversial policy, it seems that this will manifest itself into electoral success. Despite falling short by 3% of the vote in Iowa last week, nearly every poll suggests that he will storm to victory in the upcoming New Hampshire polling.
One report shows that he is way ahead in support from the Republicans.
What’s sparked this wave of success? Well, one attraction of Trump is that he isn’t afraid to say what is “unspeakable”. Under any political system, where fear of immigration and Muslims is coupled with a politically-correct establishment, you can expect many to get frustrated and disengaged with politicians of the same nature – e.g. those who play down the threat of Radical Islam, immigration etc. Trump goes past this however. Trump will even likely attract the support of those who wouldn’t even have voted otherwise.
And who’s he up against that could really challenge him? Well, Rubio and Cruz are the two obvious candidates. Ben Carson did look strong initially, much of his support coming from the evangelical Christian community (being one himself); yet after producing repeatedly bland performances, and making comments that shattered his credibility, making him an easy target for the media, it has expectedly dissolved.
Rubio has proven strong throughout the entire contest, despite being thought to have slipped up on Saturday night’s debate. He has been benefited by not only eliciting much confidence in public performances, but proving to have much authenticity as a republican candidate. A traditionalist in issues like security, supporting Israel and fortifying the armed forces, Rubio also advocates more liberal measures on immigration – perhaps attracting a fraction of Democrat voters at the same time. Of course, such policies could conceivably prevent him from winning a substantial bulk of traditional republican voters at the same time.
Cruz on the other hand, the second candidate who could challenge Trump, is strong. He clearly possesses the ability to attract the fundamental Conservatives of America. He could still prove a possible threat. In fact, he already has solidified a strong support base – helping him win in Iowa last week, and will still try and hack away at Trump’s lead.
However, Trump’s charismatic, outlandish personality, combined with his ability to play on people’s fears – as is the case with Muslims, immigrants and ISIS (like nearly every Republican does), should secure him the vote. This of course, is how the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage turned his party from one a obscure, sideline party in Britain, to an attractive and mainstream political movement. Utilizing the fear of mass immigration (currently the primary concern among the UK Public), while differing from his mainstream, pro-establishment, political adversaries (Cameron, Miliband and Clegg), he strengthened the party to such an extent, UKIP was often jokingly named the “Nigel Farage Party”, as he was the main attraction. This is clearly the case with Trump and the Republican Party too. Trump is perhaps the Republican Party’s greatest attraction.
Remember, US politics more often than not revolves around personality and character appeal- which, as established, will play into Trump’s hands, and give him a solid chance of securing victory as Republican candidate.
Of course, assuming he does win, he will still have to face Hillary Clinton (or possibly, but much less likely, Bernie Sanders).