I write in Politico today about the bizarre reversal in GOP presidential politics that we have witnessed to this point:
If we had been told at the beginning of the year that in October a Republican presidential candidate would be leading the polls nationally and in every state, drawing support from across all factions of the GOP, and sucking up all the oxygen in the race, most people would have guessed Jeb Bush was going from strength to strength.
Of course, it is his nemesis and tormentor, Donald Trump, who is at the top of the heap. Trump is something new in Republican politics. He’s the anti-establishment front-runner.
Trump lacks many of the attributes of a traditional front-runner — the endorsements, the broad fundraising base (because he’s not really fundraising), the well-oiled campaign apparatus. What he does have is the polling strength, the dominance in the media and the ability to drive the debate. He is not the candidate of any one faction, but performs well across the spectrum and especially with GOP moderates.
He has usurped the position held by the strongest establishment candidate almost by default for decades, and reduced Bush, the presumptive heir to that slot, for now, to a well-funded also-ran.
All that said, Trump has many vulnerabilities, including that he’s not a natural in Iowa, as the latest poll out there noted by Jim earlier underlines.