A new poll from SurveyUSA shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by 5 points (45-40). I’m not really surprised. Hillary is a poor candidate with major (and mounting) problems.
Trump is also leading Bernie Sanders by basically the same margin (44-42). This isn’t surprising either. Sanders is a socialist with low name-recognition.
But how do we explain the fact that Trump also leads Joe Biden (44-42) and Al Gore (44-41)? Biden and Gore are well-known and neither is scandal-ridden.
David French at NRO’s Corner provides a more than plausible explanation:
First, Trump is demonstrating the awesome power of his decades-long turn in the American spotlight. His is no fifteen minutes of fame. Those who live and breathe politics often forget that they inhabit a world of sub-sub-sub-celebrity, with Twitter fights and blog wars conducted largely out of public view. The recent Meek Mill/Drake beef [Note: What was that?] likely garnered more public attention than a decade of political gaffes and fights — unless those gaffes are artificially magnified by millions of dollars in paid ads. One of the reasons why candidates spend vast sums of money is to literally introduce themselves to the American public. The parties race to “define” relative nobodies in the public eye. . . .
Second, Trump’s reality TV experience is overwhelmingly beneficial. . .On that show, he’s the adult in the room — the authority figure (“Mr. Trump”) who treats everyone — black and white, male and female — with the same toughness. People who scoff at reality TV as a genre should understand that it has the same variations in quality as scripted television, and “Apprentice” has been on the high end of reality TV for a very long time.
Trump’s celebrity status won’t help him with Hispanics, given his over-the-top statements about immigration and immigrants. But that status (or something else) is enabling him to garner 25 percent of the Black vote, according to the SurveyUSA poll.
With his support among Blacks more than double what a Republican presidential candidate can expect in a good year, his inability to match the normal (low) Republican number among Hispanics is offset, at a minimum.
I don’t assume that Trump’s current level of support among Blacks would survive a hard-hitting Democratic campaign (coupled, perhaps, with voter fraud on a large scale). But I also don’t assume that Trump would be unable to exceed by a goodly margin the normal level of Black support for a GOP presidential nominee.
The SurveyUSA poll is just one survey conducted more than a year before the general election. Nonetheless, it provides food for thought.
My thought is that it may be up to Republicans to spare America from a Donald Trump presidency.