Why Republican voters are warming to Donald Trump for 2012(Read article summary)
'The Donald' has a 52 percent favorable rating among Republicans, a new poll shows. Because Donald Trump acts like the boss, voters may be inclined to think of him that way.
Developer/reality show star Donald Trump appears to be pretty popular with Republican voters right now, in case you havenâ€™t heard. He tied for second with Mike Huckabee, behind Mitt Romney, in a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll that measured the presidential nomination preferences of GOP voters. And heâ€™s got a 52 percent favorable rating among Republicans in a just-released Gallup survey.
Why is he doing so well among adherents of the GOP? Perhaps because heâ€™s running as if he were already the partyâ€™s boss, as opposed to the other candidates, who may seem like applicants for the job, comparatively speaking.
Mr. Trumpâ€™s CEO-like forcefulness has been on full display in his recent spate of television interviews. What do we do in Iraq? Stay and keep the oil! How do we handle Chinaâ€™s rise? Slap a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods! Was President Obama born in America? Thereâ€™s no proof â€“ and Iâ€™m sending investigators to Hawaii to check into the story!
â€śItâ€™s all about leadership. You have to be able to make deals,â€ť Trump said Thursday on CNN.
Trump doesnâ€™t back down when challenged. In the face of tough questions from interviewers, heâ€™s doubled down on the whole where-was-Obama-born question, for instance. He waves away evidence such as Obamaâ€™s certificate of live birth from a hospital in Hawaii and contemporaneous birth announcements placed in Hawaiian newspapers.
Heâ€™s even summoned an Arizona state lawmaker whoâ€™s the author of a so-called â€śbirtherâ€ť bill to meet him at Trump HQ in New York. Republican state Rep. Carl Seelâ€™s legislation would require presidential candidates to prove that they were born in the United States to be eligible for the stateâ€™s electoral votes.
All evidence is that a big segment of GOP voters like this.
â€śThe fact is that Donald Trump is doing a better job when heâ€™s in front of the camera articulating a message against Barack Obamaâ€™s second term in office. He doesnâ€™t pull punches, and he just speaks very plainly,â€ť said a recent post on the conservative Red State blog.
â€śI think what Paul has done is very dangerous for the Republican Party,â€ť Trump said Thursday.
The electorate as a whole has much more mixed feelings about Trump than does the subset of Republicans. The just-released Gallup survey notes that if Democrats and independents are taken into account Trumpâ€™s favorability rating drops to 43 percent, with 47 percent holding an unfavorable view of the â€śCelebrity Apprenticeâ€ť star.
Given that polls show no dominant front-runner in the GOP nomination race, Trump could still do well, notes Gallup. (Trump himself says heâ€™ll decide whether to run in June.)
â€śTrump does enjoy what many candidates strive hard to develop â€“ 90 percent name recognition among all Americans ... [but] whether Trump could parlay that familiarity into voter support in primaries and caucuses is an open question,â€ť writes Gallup analyst Frank Newport.