Friday, 25 December 2015

Could Donald Trump actually win the Republican nomination?

Donald Trump is the billionaire businessman and far-right GOP presidential candidate who had made controversial remarks about muslims, women, and immigration of late. Despite his concerning comments and his media manipulation, he is the frontrunner in the polls to be nominated as the GOP candidate. He is over 15 points clear of rival candidates and his lead only seems to be increasing. However what are the chances of Trump actually winning the nomination to run for president in 2016 and can the polls be wrong?

2016 Republican Presidential Nomination Poll - RealClearPolitics 24/12/2015

Opinion polls are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Although historically they have only been 1-2 points out, in the UK general election in 2015 they predicted another coalition government however that was far from the actual result. With the opinion poll for the GOP nomination, there is no source information clarifying how many people were in the sample or if they are even likely to turnout in the Republican caucus'. Thus, Democrat supporters might have been included in the poll.

Also, there is no such thing as a national caucus (what the opinion poll above is showing). Although the poll predicts who the most popular candidate is, that may not necessarily reflect the attitudes in every state. For example, if you look at the poll for the Republican caucus in Iowa, it is much more a close race and Trump isn't even winning.

2016 Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus Poll - RealClearPolitics 24/12/2015

Donald Trump says he represents a "silent majority" however there has been questions towards if the people he represents are in fact a majority. One would suspect that Trump's outlandish personality would turn supporters off however the more he is in the media, the more support he seems to gain. So are all of his supporters borderline racist, pro-life, anti-gay marriage, traditionalist conservatives? The video below from aims to investigate that.

Although the opinion polls can not be fully trusted (and not all of them even show Trump as the most popular candidate anyway), Trump does have loyal supporters who appear to be engaged with the issues he raises and the answers he is offering. Are they a majority capable of making Trump the Republican nomination though? We'll have to wait and see. But even if they don't, Trump has declared that he would then run as an independent candidate funded by his own money.