Archive for March 5th, 2016

The entertainer: Exploring why Donald Trump fans adore Donald Trump

March 5, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 5, 2016

If Donald Trump is so loathsome, why is he so beloved, or at least appealing?

The short answer is that Trump isn’t that well-liked among the general population, even when “general population” is defined as Republicans who have participated in a primary or caucus this year. As Nate Silver noted on Thursday,

Trump does not just divide rank-and-file voters from Republican poo-bahs. He’s also extremely divisive among Republican voters, much more so than a typical front-runner. In exit polls so far, only 49 percent of Republican voters say they would be satisfied with Trump as their nominee — remarkable considering Trump’s lead in votes and delegates.

At the end of January, Gallup pollster Frank Newport wrote that Trump’s unfavorability rating of 60 percent was unprecedented over the last 24 years:

Trump now has a higher unfavorable rating than any candidate at any time during all of these previous election cycles, and that conclusion takes into account the fact that unfavorable ratings tend to rise in the heat of a general election campaign as the barbs, negative ads and heightened partisanship are taken to their highest levels.

Still, I come here not to bury Trump but — sort of — to praise him.

Those who like Donald Trump really like Donald Trump. He knows it, too, boasting at a rally in Iowa in January: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

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