The secret of The Donald’s success: he is the GOP

John McCain’s ‘illegitimate’ son, Little Lindsey Graham, came to the defense of dear old “Dad” on an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. Graham: Trump ‘appealing to the dark side’ of politics:

“I think he’s appealing to the dark side of American politics. He is not offering solutions to hard, complicated problems. He is basically selling fear and prejudice,” Graham said.

Cartoon_18.14So basically “The Donald” is doing what the conservative media entertainment complex does on a daily basis. This is its business model.

And Little Lindsey Graham, who is always clutching his pearls and screaming “We’re all gonna die!” before collapsing on his fainting couch, is hardly someone who can criticize Trump for selling fear. That’s his shtick.

As for the “dark side” of American politics, “The Donald” has a lot of company in the Tea-Publican Party, which has become the modern day equivalent of the xenophobic anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party of the 19th Century. I keep telling you, the GOP is now the Mass Deportation Party.

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post reports today on the CNN poll which substantiates this harsh assessment. Big majority of GOP voters favors mass deportation, poll finds:

This new poll finding, courtesy of CNN, is not all that surprising, but it is very illuminating of the demographic challenges the GOP faces right now: A big majority of Republicans believes that the government’s main focus on immigration should be not just on stopping the flow of illegal immigrants, but also on deporting those already here.

The poll asks:

What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration — developing a plan that would allow illegal immigrants who have jobs to become legal U.S. residents, or developing a plan for stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and for deporting those already here?

By 56-42, Americans support developing a plan to legalize undocumented immigrants over stopping their flow and deporting those already here. Independents agree by 58-39, and moderates by 59-40.

But Republicans favor stopping the flow of undocumenteds and deporting those already here by 63-34. So do conservatives, by 55-43. “Those already here,” of course, amount to some 11 million people.

Now, it’s certainly possible that GOP support for deportation is inflated somewhat by the inclusion of securing the border on that side of the question. But even when the question is framed a bit less starkly, as a recent Post/ABC News poll did, a majority of Republicans does not think the undocumented should be allowed to live and work here even if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. This should not obscure the fact that a substantial number of Republicans are, in fact, open to legalization; it’s just that more of them apparently aren’t.

And as such, what the CNN numbers again confirm is that there is a deep and intractable divide between the two parties on what to do about the undocumented population. This fundamental underlying difference matters far more than Donald Trump’s vicious rhetoric, which (assuming he doesn’t run as a third party candidate) will likely prove ephemeral.

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Indeed, if the CNN poll is right — and a big percentage of Republicans favors not just securing the border, but also deporting all of the undocumented — then it could prove very hard to do the former without alienating too many of the latter voters. (The CNN numbers also indicate that majorities of white evangelicals and older voters, i.e., GOP-friendly constituencies, favor securing the border/deportation.)

Essentially the target audience of the conservative media entertainment complex, and GOP presidential candidates.

“The Donald” is still leading in the latest CNN national poll (post-McCain comments survey).  CNN/ORC poll: Trump elbows his way to the top:

In the first national telephone poll since Donald Trump earned rebukes from Republican leaders over his comments about Senator John McCain’s military service, the real estate mogul has increased his support among GOP voters and now stands atop the race for the party’s nomination.

The new CNN/ORC Poll finds Trump at 18% support among Republicans, with former Florida governor Jeb Bush just behind at 15%, within the poll’s margin of error.

They are joined at the top of the pack by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, with 10% support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered to vote. Trump’s backing has climbed 6 points since a late-June poll, while support for Bush and Walker has not changed significantly.

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[T]he poll suggests Republican voters haven’t yet had their fill of Trump. A majority (52%) say they’d like to see Trump continue his run for the GOP nomination, including nearly six in 10 conservatives, tea party supporters and white evangelicals. Even among those Republican voters who support someone other than Trump, 42% say they’d like him to remain in the field.

In another positive sign for Trump’s candidacy, among those Republicans who are enthusiastic about voting next year, Trump holds a larger edge over his competition: 22% say they would back him for their party’s nomination, compared with 14% who back Bush and 12% behind Walker.

Meanwhile, the NBC/Marist poll on Sunday showed “The Donald” leading among New Hampshire GOP primary voters for the first time, and rapidly closing the gap to narrowly trail Scott Walker in Iowa.

Trump took 21% of the New Hampshire GOP primary vote, with Bush running second at 14%, while in Iowa Trump was at 17% and Walker at 19%.

The NBC/Marist poll is a dated poll, conducted from July 14 to 21, with the Iowa forum comments coming on July 18. Trump’s standing in Iowa actually was slightly better after his criticisms of Sen. McCain, while there was a significant drop off after his comments in New Hampshire, but not enough to prevent him from jumping out to the lead in the polling average over J.E.B(!) Bush for the first time.

Remember, “The Donald” is a self-funded billionaire — just ask him, he’ll be happy to tell you what he is worth. He can hang around as long as he has significant support — right now he is the frontrunner — and he is willing to spend his money. “The Donald” is not going to go away any time soon.

UPDATE: Whatever slippage the Marist Poll noted in New Hampshire after Trump’s McCain comments appears to have rebounded in a new Monmouth University poll which finds Donald Trump holds a two-to-one lead among New Hampshire Republicans over his nearest rival Jeb Bush, 24-12. The other Republican candidates are in single digits. “The controversy over comments about John McCain’s war service do not appear to have slowed the Trump steamroller.”

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