A Gravis Marketing poll released on July 31st confirms that Donald Trump has become the face of the Republican Party. Sure, party insiders and pundits are still trying to distance themselves from Trump’s toxic rhetoric, but much to their chagrin, Republican voters are embracing Trump’s politics of derision and division.
The Gravis Marketing poll found Trump surging to a huge lead in Iowa. Trump polled at 31 percent in the GOP field, followed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 15 percent, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 10 percent. Several other Republican candidates were mired in the single digits.
Republican leaders are slow to accept an inconvenient truth. After years of ginning up their base with hateful, fear-mongering rhetoric, party leaders have now lost control of the monster they created. Donald Trump is not only the party’s Id, but he is also now the Republican Party’s most identifiable leader.
To the average Iowa Republican, the party is not led by congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell or John Boehner, nor is it led by faces of the past, like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney. Furthermore, legacy candidate Jeb Bush and Koch brothers’ sycophant Scott Walker, while popular with party bosses, do not command the loyalty of the GOP rank and file the way Trump does.
Donald Trump has tapped into the fear and anger of aging white folks in Middle America who feel their way of life is being threatened by people who don’t look like them. Whether it be illegal immigrants or “the Kenyan usurper” in the White House, Trump’s attacks on people of color are striking a chord in Middle America during this summer of discontent.
Republican party leaders and the conservative media have been fanning the flames of discontent since Barack Obama became president, but now their controlled burn has morphed into a fire they can no longer contain. Donald Trump has ascended to the top of the GOP field, and in this season of rage, his momentum is spiraling out of control.
For better or worse, Donald Trump’s large lead in Iowa has made him the new face of the Republican Party.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.