Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's Tuesday-- And Trump Is Still Kicking The GOP Establishment's Ass


As we explained yesterday, Murdoch demanded Ailes kill off Trump's candidacy. So far, it doesn't seem to have worked. Even Trump's ugly sexism and misogyny haven't taken much of a toll-- at least not among Republicans, who are, after all, Republicans.
Donald Trump continued to defy the laws of political gravity on Monday as a Reuters/Ipsos poll found the real estate mogul holding onto a wide lead among Republicans in the U.S. presidential race despite an acerbic debate and a feud with a female television anchor that have bolstered charges of sexism.

Trump led the party's 17-strong 2016 presidential field with the backing of 24 percent of Republican voters, unchanged from before Thursday's televised debate.

His closest rival, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, trails at 12 percent, down from 17 percent before the debate. No other candidate earned more than 8 percent in the online poll, conducted between the end of the debate and Sunday.

The reality television star has been under intense criticism for caustic comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during and after the debate, and was disinvited from a weekend gathering of conservative activists in Georgia after he said Kelly, who helped moderate the debate, had "blood coming out of her wherever."

...the drama has done little so far to dent Trump's appeal among less affluent, conservative-leaning voters who say his brash style is needed to shake up an overly cautious political system and that his vast wealth would help him resist corrupting influences.

"They want someone who's an outsider, who can upset the applecart," said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party. "They're willing to deal with a less-than-perfect candidate if they believe it will actually change things in Washington."
There have been 4 polls since the debate and Trump still leads the Republican field in all of them. What a pathetically weak field of candidates they have! There isn't a single plausible leader in the whole lot-- not even in the eyes of Republicans! He's beating the Establishment's front-runner, Jeb!, by around 20 points. His favorability among Republican voters has actually increased-- substantially-- although this may have something to do with how weak the field is.

PPP's survey shows Trump leading second-place contenders Ben Carson and Koch Brothers puppet Scott Walker by 7 points and leading Jeb! 19-11%.

The biggest loser in the poll is Rand Paul. He now has a negative favorability rating at 31/45. That gives him the worst numbers of anyone in the field, outdistancing even Chris Christie on the unpopularity front. Paul's 3% standing represents a drop all the way down from 10% in April. Paul has been foundering anyway, and his campaign's ties to the Kent Sorenson mess are probably making things particularly bad for him in Iowa.

Besides Paul, the candidate worst off in this poll is Christie. He's never been strong in Iowa-- he was at 5% in April-- but now he's polling in asterisk territory at 1%. Christie's overall image has actually improved-- he's still unpopular, with a 34/44 favorability rating, but that's better than the 28/50 in April-- but he may be losing voters who value his tough talk style to Trump.

Scott Walker (from 23% to 12%), Marco Rubio (from 13% to 6%), and Mike Huckabee (from 10% to 6%) all saw sizable drops in their support over the last four months. The good news for them though is that they're still among the most popular candidates in the state, right behind Carson. Rubio's favorability is 66/15, Huckabee's is 64/20, and Walker's is 63/17. Being so well liked positions all of them well to potentially benefit as other candidates falter further down the line. Walker is tied with Fiorina as the most frequent 2nd choice of voters at 11% and Rubio is in double digits on that front as well at 10%. Jeb Bush (12% in April, 11% now) and Ted Cruz (8% in April, 9% now) are both holding pretty steady. And despite his support for the nomination being flat, voters are warming up to Bush some- his 45/32 favorability is an improvement from 38/37 in the spring.
Even worse news for the Republican Party Establishment came from Morning Consult, which found Trump leading the Republican field with 32%, a 7-point gain in the last week, the week the GOP thought they could kill off his candidacy. They tried; they failed. Instead, the biggest Trump critics, Rand Paul, Lindsay Graham and Chris Christie, are seeing their candidacies imploding. The Kochs and Adelsons intend to foist Scott Walker and Marco Rubio off as the GOP ticket for 2016, but those two worthless candidates command a mere 6% each.
The share of Republican primary voters who say they view Trump favorably increased since the last tracking poll, to 62 percent from 57 percent. But the number of registered voters who say they see Trump unfavorably remains high-- 52 percent of all voters say they see him in a negative light. That makes Trump both the most popular candidate within the Republican field and the least popular candidate Republicans could nominate for next year’s general election.

Thursday’s debate, viewed by a record-setting 24 million people, did not provide a boost for any other leading Republican contender. Carson, Walker, Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) all clocked in at about the same level of support as they did the previous week, while Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) saw his support drop from 7 percent to 4 percent.

An earlier debate, held for candidates who didn’t make the list of top 10 contenders that included Trump, gave a boost to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. After her performance in the so-called Happy Hour debate, Fiorina won support from 3 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, up from 1 percent the week before. The percentage of voters who said they have a favorable view of Fiorina-- 25 percent among all registered voters and 39 percent among self-identified Republicans-- spiked sharply as well.
Fox may actually have to back down from their Murdoch-mandated anti-Trump jihad. According to a New York Magazine "Daily Intelligencer" piece yesterday by Gabriel Sherman, Fox News is worried that its brain-dead viewers are on Trump's side in the dust-up!
This morning, Trump tweeted that Ailes called to assure him that Fox will cover him “fairly” going forward. According to two high-level Fox sources, Ailes's diplomacy was the result of increasing concern inside Fox News that Trump could damage the network. Immediately following Thursday's debate, Fox was deluged with pro-Trump emails. The chatter on Twitter was equally in Trump’s favor. “In the beginning, virtually 100-percent of the emails were against Megyn Kelly,” one Fox source, who was briefed on the situation told me. “Roger was not happy. Most of the Fox viewers were taking Trump’s side.”

Things got worse for Ailes over the weekend. In a phone conversation, Trump told Sean Hannity that “he was never doing Fox again,” according to one person with knowledge of the call. The anti-Kelly emails, and threat of a boycott by Trump, seems to have pushed Ailes to diffuse the war. One Fox personality told me that Fox producers gave instructions to tell in-house talent not to bring up Trump’s controversial comments that Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever" during the debate. According to one count, Fox only aired Trump’s comment once since Friday, while CNN mentioned it at least 50 times.

In recent days, Ailes got a glimpse of what a Trumpless Fox News would look like. On Sunday, Trump called in to the four other public affairs shows; this morning he gave interviews to Today and Morning Joe. Inside Fox, this was alarming. “This thing with Megyn got way ahead of Roger and bigger than he must have thought,” one Fox personality said. “Roger wants this to blow over,” another source added. “He’s upset that conservatives are mad at Fox.” Online, Ailes also took flack. Both The Drudge Report and Breitbart News carried pro-Trump headlines.
Tonight Sean Hannity will be hosting Trump on his show for a full hour.

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At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, I know - Hitler, Fox etc. etc. But this is delicious. Ever since Reagan, the press has refused all substance. They want to see poll numbers and teach a controversy's impact on the polls. They want to cover the rhetoric's effectiveness. And that's all.

The actual subject of the rhetoric, the facts, much less a policy's implication for citizens is like drinking poison to them. So, to the point, does Fox care about shaming menstruation, either as a matter of egalitarian feminism or just polite (what used to be called gentlemanly) discourse? Of course not. They have sown the wind with empty loud hatred and now they are reaping the whirlwind of nihilism. The Donald is completely their man, the perfect substance-free, loudmouthed rich nihilist that has been struggling to be born in their studios for decades. And they are surprised by it.

The rest of the media will be just as confused. They think that politically correct discourse is the same thing as reporting the facts objectively, and cover only violations of discourse, never violations of substance - i.e. fact. But of course, when Anita Dunn tried to point out that Fox wasn't really news, all of the other news media jumped on her and insisted that of course they were. So the Donald is their man too.

And indeed, they are all the same: All will follow the blowhard with the biggest sound system and take that coverage of the blowhard to be an act of nature rather than a series of human choices that they made themselves. The difference between Fox and the "responsible" "mainstream" "liberal" media consists mostly in which substance-free blowhards they cover and the substance-free things they say about him/her. If it weren't well down the road to killing the country, it would funny as hell.


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