Republicans are panicking and trying to stop Donald Trump as new YouGov/The Economist Poll shows Trump leading the Republican field.
The YouGov/The Economist poll found that Trump has ridden racism to the very top as he now leads Jeb Bush 15%-12%. Rand Paul is third at 11%, and Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio are in a four-way tie for fourth at 9%. The next tier of Republican candidates is led by Ben Carson (7%), Chris Christie (6%), Ted Cruz (4%), Carly Fiorina (3%), and Rick Perry (3%).
Before this poll was released, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Trump to try to get him to tone it down. The Washington Post noted that the call reflected the level of alarm within the Republican Party about Trump, “The call from Chairman Reince Priebus, described by donors and consultants briefed on the conversation and confirmed by the RNC, underscores the extent to which Trump has gone from an embarrassment to a cause for serious alarm among top Republicans in Washington and nationwide.”
Priebus said that the call lasted for an hour. Trump claimed that the call lasted for 10-15 minutes, and the point was to congratulate him on his presidential campaign. Trump’s alternate reality version of the call was a not so subtle message to the Republican Party.
Donald Trump is giving Republican voters what they want. He is a politically uneducated, fire breathing, racist and bigot. In other words, he is the perfect candidate for a large swath of those who will pick the party’s nominee.
Republicans have trafficked in racism and catered to right-wing extremists for years. They created the environment that has allowed Donald Trump to flourish as a candidate, and now they are trying to put the genie back in the bottle.
Donald Trump doesn’t have to listen to the Republican Party. Because Republicans frontloaded their primary process, they created a process that will allow Trump to stay in the race for a long time.
Republicans are freaking out because they realize that one of the consequences of selling their party to the conservative billionaires is that they have no ability to control Donald Trump.
If something doesn’t change soon, Trump’s magic formula of racism + media attention = rising poll numbers could make a long-term presence in the Republican field.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association