Poll: Trump surges to big lead in GOP presidential race
That’s a headline in today’s online edition of the Washington Post. It tells us a bit about Trump and a great deal about the Washington Post and other news organizations.
25% of eligible Republican voters say they would like to see Trump as president of the United States. That number certainly does not suggest that Trump is in fact a credible candidate. His list of qualifications numbers less than one. A big mouth and an immeasurable ego have nothing whatsoever to do with leading the most powerful nation on the planet.
Why then does he have good numbers? Well, as commentators tell us again and again, he has great name recognition. In part that is because he works so hard at making his name known. Just as importantly, the press likes to have fun with the sensationalism of an uncontrolled tongue, so they put Trump’s trivialities on the front page.
Why are we taking these incessant polls and why are we publicizing them? Surely by this time there is no one left in America who thinks the polls actually tell us anything. Right? And surely these meaningless polls do not belong in the news. Right?
In one sense I suppose it is all harmless. It is kind of fun watching Trump shooting himself in the foot more and more frequently as his star rises higher than higher. July of 2015 is far, far too early to be taking a presidential “race” seriously. Trump makes an amusing distraction. The downside is that Trump’s big mouth is making the fringe folk feel they might have some credibility.
The day after the congressional election last fall, when it was clear the Republicans had made sweeping gains, I said that Hillary’s election as president was now quite secure. I stand by those words — Congress has proven quite useless — but now I want to add that, thanks to the damage Trump is doing to the Republican party, Hillary is twice as secure as before. . .unless good ol’ Bernie whups her. But that’s a story for another day.