Gee, since the last debate on Tuesday suddenly Donald Trump and Ben Carson are supposed to be yesterday’s news. Marco Rubio allegedly is the new GOP presidential frontrunner. Maybe. After Trump’s and especially Carson’s recent debate performances, they may indeed start to fade. Since all political and news media elites fervently want that to happen, once it starts to, the end may come fairly fast.
But, a couple of things. First, the polls still have Trump and Carson in the lead or very, very close to it. Second, these guys’ heirs as frontrunner may be Ted Cruz, a four alarm fire of a presidential candidate if I ever saw one. Lastly, it’s too late to say that the fact that two fringe cranks dominated the GOP’s presidential race for four consecutive months doesn’t mean anything. The question is what it means.
Here are some guesses paired with theories of Trump’s appeal. As for Carson, to me his appeal is not much of a mystery. While most of us never heard of him before this, Carson has been wildly popular in conservative evangelical circles for twenty years, and they make up a large chunk of GOP primary voters. Plus, Carson’s race reassures conservatives that the GOP cannot be racist and so supporting him lets them express their anger at being called racists so much.
LINKS – Theories of Trump’s popularity and durability
- Trump’s supporters tell you why in their own words. Recommended.
- Trump’s and Carson supporters are the most pessimistic of American voters.
- Trump speaks for a White, downscale, “Radical American Middle.” A must-read. This is why his “wages are too high” gaffe at the debate will hurt him.
- …but it doesn’t matter. If Trump goes down he will be replaced by Ted Cruz because GOP voters want to see their rage expressed. Recommended.
- Carson isn’t going away either.
OTHER POSTS for this week’s mtg on Trumpism –
Part I: Is Trump’s popularity real?
Post III: Trump, Carson, et. al., and the future of the GOP.
Post IV: Some more conservative POVs on all of this.