A national Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on November 19th shows that Republican voters are sticking with Donald Trump and Ben Carson as their top choices to become the Republican nominee for president. The poll found Trump leading with 26 percent support and Ben Carson in 2nd place, registering 19 percent support. Rounding out the top four, Texas Senator Ted Cruz was polling at 14 percent, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio was at 13 percent.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was in 5th place, way back at 5 percent support. No other GOP candidate registered higher than 4 percent. The field has essentially winnowed down to four seemingly viable candidates and a slew of “also-rans.” Unfortunately, the “viable” candidates consist of two front-runners with no elected experience, a U.S. Senator who nobody in the senate gets along with, and another U.S. Senator who doesn’t like his job, and rarely shows up for work.
Nothing more dramatically illustrates Republican voters flight from reason than the fact that Donald Trump and Ben Carson remain resilient as the leaders in the GOP field, despite their weak resumes and the bizarre political positions they have taken during their campaigns.
Donald Trump kicked off his campaign by calling undocumented Mexican immigrants rapists, and he hasn’t let up on his xenophobic rhetoric since. His more recent suggestions include shutting down mosques and possibly requiring Muslims to carry special ID cards. He lacks foreign policy nuance, only saying that his plan is to “bomb the s**t” out of the bad guys. He wants to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border, but he promises that somehow he will get Mexico to pay for it.
Trump is not a serious candidate, but because Republican voters seem to love his boastful, but simplistic ideas, he is a candidate that must be taken seriously. GOP voters are also enamored of Ben Carson, despite the fact that Carson seems in way over his head, when it comes to understanding foreign policy, economics, or really anything that doesn’t involve brain surgery or separating conjoined twins.
Ben Carson’s own advisers say he is clueless about foreign policy and that their efforts to educate him have been futile. His own advisers seem almost terrified that he might actually become president and have no idea what he is doing as Commander in Chief. Yet, his lack of foreign policy experience has not turned off GOP voters, who seem to have become so anti-intellectual and nihilistic that they view incompetence and ignorance as positive selling points.
What more can be said of a candidate who is trying desperately to convince voters that he stabbed one of his relatives, and voters are eager to believe him and to vote for him? Republican voters are so consumed with their antipathy to Barack Obama that they are willing to support any candidate, as long as that candidate is just as angry and delusional as they are.
The entire GOP primary process would be amusing, if not for the fact that Republican voters appear dead serious about electing a joke to head their ticket in 2016. Whether its Donald Trump, Ben Carson or one of the Republican Senators, it will be no laughing matter if any of them somehow manage to get elected.
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.