I’ve started ten different stories on Donald Trump over the past month that I couldn’t bring myself to finish or publish. Do I give him more publicity than he’s already receiving? Eh, why not.
The latest Iowa Republican caucus poll (KBUR/WAA) has Trump in 7th place, with 7% of the vote. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are all ahead of him. Put another way, 93% of Iowans polled did not pick Trump. This is also down from how he performed in Quinnipiac’s Iowa poll from July 1, where he got 10%.
Yesterday, for the first time, Trump found a poll where he came in first. PPP found him getting 16% of the vote in North Carolina. That still means 84% of those polled picked someone else, but that’s a headline. In that same poll, however, in head-to-head matchups, Trump did the worst against Hillary Clinton than any other candidate.
The national prominence of Trump is disturbing to many Republicans. He talks bluntly. That’s great, but if what he’s saying is still stupid, it doesn’t matter how bluntly the words were delivered.
There has yet to be a national poll where anyone in the Republican race gets more than 25%, and there may be as many as 17 candidates by next week. Personally I think the first debate can’t get here soon enough. Even though Trump will be in the top ten and therefore on that stage, it’ll provide an opportunity for the other nine to differentiate themselves from him and his rhetoric. If they appear weak, like when Tim Pawlenty refused to back up his tough talk on “Obamneycare” once he was actually on the stage with Romney, then those candidates will wilt and plummet quickly. Then, we can start paring things down and get serious.
And as long as Trump is in the race, you can’t ever say things are serious.