Is Donald Trump’s Presidential run over or has he just boosted his poll numbers? There has much ado about Trump’s comments regarding Senator John McCain’s “war hero” status, which in all honesty have been largely taken completely out of context by most media outlets covering the story. This all started when Senator McCain referred to 15,000 people interested in talking about solutions to illegal immigration as “crazies.” While trump did not exactly say that John McCain wasn’t a war hero, he did differentiate between the heroism of being a warrior and the heroism of surviving prisoner of war captivity.
So, why is Trump leading in the polls? Some might say that it is because he does not speak the focus-group tested rhetoric of the typical politician. His comments on illegal immigration drew a lot of criticism, yet launched him to the top of the polls. Why? Because he didn’t speak the “immigrants in search of a better life” pablum that most politicians speak to avoid the negative feedback. In recent polls, his favorable numbers have jumped significantly, but his unfavorable numbers are still nearly double his favorable. Thirty-three percent of Americans see Trump favorably; that’s doubled from 16 percent in a pre-candidacy ABC News/Washington Post poll in late May. Sixty-one percent see him unfavorably, down from 71 percent but still leaving him deeply under water in popularity overall.
This latest tiff with Senator McCain has allowed Trump to bring the care of veterans to the forefront just as he did with illegal immigration. Will he be the Republican nominee for President? That remains to be seen, but for now he is definitely defining the primary campaigns and debates in a way that is not at all typical of a presidential primary. He’s blunt, unapologetic and brash which has allowed him to suck all oxygen out of everyone else’s campaigns. Senator McCain was an easy target, having fired the first volley with his “crazies” comment, his reputation as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) wins him few supporters against Trump’s attacks on veterans issues.
Say what you will about Donald Trump, he’s long on criticisms and short on solutions, but he speaks to the American people in a way no other politician has before. He has people’s attention and has people talking about issues who would not even be aware of politics normally in these early stages of the primary race. Some say Trump’s “style” may backfire on the Republican party as a whole, but more and more people seem to see it as a refreshing change to the usual political fare. Win or lose, Trump has brought a new energy to politics that is dominating, bold and to many refreshing. Presidential? Not in the typical sense by any stretch of the imagination, but exponentially different to say the least.
Has he crossed the line with his comments on illegal immigration, Rick Perry’s IQ and McCain’s war hero status? Most would say yes, but lines don’t seem to his his main concern. Being boxed in to politically correct talking points and sound bites aren’t his forte, obviously. How far his unique brand of politics takes him remains to be seen, but for the time being he is the big fish in the big pond of Republican candidates. He has the media attention, he has the attention of the other candidates and most importantly he has the attention of the American people, love him or hate him.