The Republican Establishment and the Mainstream Media are certain of Donald Trump losing, but it isn’t happening.
Over and over again, the media has told us that “Trump is finished,” but it is never true. Every time his campaign is supposed to end in shame, he stays ahead of all the other candidates. Most recently he was supposedly doomed after the second debate. But even if he didn’t do as well as some might have liked, he didn’t hurt himself. Now the media has to admit how wrong they were. Thus, The Hill’s headline: “Media thumps Trump, but polls show he’s winning big.”
Rumors of Donald Trump’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated.
Ever since rival Carly Fiorina was widely perceived to have bested Trump at the second GOP debate in California on Sept. 16, media outlets have been lining up to suggest that the front-runner is waning.
Trump has hit back with characteristic vigor. But he has a point, independent observers say.
“The reality is that he does have a hold on some people and he doesn’t appear to be surrendering it,” said Mark Mellman, a veteran Democratic pollster who is also a columnist for The Hill.
Much of the negative media attention has been built around a single poll in the immediate aftermath of the debate, by CNN/ORC.
The survey showed the businessman’s support among Republican voters nationwide had declined by 8 percentage points since the last survey from the same source, less than two weeks before.
That was a sizable decline, to be sure — even though Trump still led his closest rival by 9 percentage points. But no other reputable poll since the debate has shown Trump falling by anything like that margin.
A survey from Fox News released earlier this week showed the businessman at 26 percent support nationally, an increase of 1 point since Fox’s last survey in mid-August. A Bloomberg poll gave him 21 percent — good enough for a 5-point lead over the field and an unchanged rating since the last poll from the financial news outlet at the beginning of August.
The picture is not substantially different in the crucial early states — and, in some cases, it is even better for Trump.
The Republican Establishment has no idea how much danger they are in, or how much they have lost control of an enraged Republican base. They also have no idea how much Trump will appeal to all different sorts of voters including racial minorities.
The mainstream political masters of the Republican Party cannot imagine that they are ignorant about the voters and their probable behavior. That arrogance keeps them from seeing Trump as a sign of their own intellectual and moral failings.
I can’t be sure they won’t get lucky and predict his demise again right before it finally happens. At that point, we will be treated to a resounding chorus of “I told you so,” in which all the failed predictions of Trump’s demise will be ignored.
On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise me if Trump made it to the White House.