So I’ll be truthful, even though I support Donald Trump, if only because there are no alternatives out there that are saying the things that need to be said in the defense of Western civilization from globalist liberalism, and because I admire his alpha male frame, I’ll be the first to tell you that he did not do well at the recent CNN debate (which was a maliciously-moderated hatchet job). Not at all. He lost frame in this exchange with Carly Fiorina:
Thus the victim narrative that Trump has been so good at shooting holes through was reinforced. Contrast that to his brilliant rebuttal here in the Fox News debate:
In the first debate, he turned the narrative on its head. In the second, he bought into the frame that YOU CANNOT SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT A WOMAN! EVER! ESPECIALLY REGARDING HER APPEARANCE! HELP! MISOGYNY!
You get the point.
Aside from this, Trump stumbled on matters of policy, which really isn’t as important as you might believe, but it looked bad in a debate, and unlike other times, his dominance, which was off frame, was not enough to make up for it. Although he did make up somewhat for his stumbles by exposing Fiorina’s record as an absolutely awful CEO, it was still not enough.
The average among the post-debate polls as of the time of publication (10/03/15) shows a slip in support for Trump, though he is still significantly ahead of the pack. Predictably, this has led to some speculating that Donald Trump has “run out of gas” and that he was yet another summer flirtation that would cool off with the fall in the likes of the charades of the 2012 GOP primary. Soon enough, they say, he’ll fall off in the polls completely.
But this polling data, which is still not at all bad, by the way (try leading with 23% in a field of 16 people – it’s difficult) is inaccurate.
The thing about these polls that we hear about is that they are all limited to a very specific audience. That audience is “likely” GOP primary voters. Whether you’re a “likely” voter is in large part determined by whether you’ve come out to vote in the primaries with a certain degree of regularity, among other things. Each poll has its own criteria for determining a likely voter, and what I linked is just one example, but you get the point.
As we all know, the key thing that’s driving Trump’s rise (as well as Carson’s and Fiorina’s, and even Bernie Sanders’ on the Democratic side) is that voters are fed up with both parties and Washington. They’re in fact not just fed up with the Washington political establishment, they want the entire edifice to crumble to the ground and then burn to ashes. I know I do.
What happens when a lot of people get fed up with politics and they’re fed the same old candidates election cycle-in and election cycle-out?
They drop out. They don’t care. They stay home.
And thus, they are less likely to be counted in “likely voter” polls.
But what if someone were speaking to your desires? What if he told you that he was going to cause political earthquakes?
The excitement about Donald Trump is real. I’ve heard it going around the grapevine that people are planning to come out to vote for the first time in years for him. Sorry, no link. You’ll have to take my word for it.
Then there are two other aspects that are not being reported on.
Firstly, Donald Trump has a lot of support among independents in the polls. That’s me, by the way. While it would make sense not to count these voters in Republican primary polls, some places, most crucially New Hampshire, have open primaries, where you can come out to vote for anyone in a primary race, no matter your party affiliation.
Then there is another unseen factor – the fact that many Democrats are changing their registration to vote for Donald Trump. This is perhaps most famously exemplified by Diamond and Silk, who while I sure am not a fan of their presentation style, exemplify that Donald Trump is getting wide support that is generally not being counted in the polls:
They have said that they are changing their registration from Democrat to Republican to vote for Donald Trump. Think they’re the only ones?
So, if you want to narrowly count Trump’s support among “likely” Republican primary-goers, then yes, that support has fallen somewhat after the CNN debate, which, again, was a yellow journalism hatchet job, not just for Trump, but for everybody – except Fiorina, who was basically staged to win because she had a vagina.
But if you count a broader coalition, Donald Trump likely has support that is largely unseen, and it is just as robust as it ever was.
Studying polls is a bit like trying to study the world’s ocean currents but only taking a small sample in the South Atlantic. Perhaps it can give you an idea of the direction and temperature of the waters, but you’re looking at a very, very incomplete picture. Likely primary voters are only a small current in the world’s political ocean, and they are especially misleading when that ocean is being beset by violent storms that stir up the rest of the waters from their calm slumber.
Much as it may pain our friends in the liberal media, Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere soon.