The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Source of Trump’s Strength

The new CBS poll provides some insight into why Trump is holding up so well (and Carson, too). Republicans say honesty (39 percent) and being a strong leader (36 percent) are the most important qualities for a candidate. Carson is off the charts on honesty (by 81–7 he’s considered honest and trustworthy) and Trump is considered a strong leader by an overwhelming majority of Republicans (84–14). What Republicans aren’t looking for right now is someone who cares about them (only 13 percent say this is an important quality), who has the right experience (8 percent), and can win a general election (2 percent — yes, 2 percent). And what is the right experience, by the way? Fifty-five percent of Republicans say it is business and the private sector, and only 10 percent say politics and government. It’s possible that this landscape will shift, and, say, electability take on more salience. But what Republican voters want right now — strong leadership from outside of politics — is exactly what Trump is projecting.

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