MORE CONTROVERSY, MORE APPEAL …
Three weeks ago we saw the first evidence indicating that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump‘s assault on Muslim immigration wasn’t going to hurt his 2016 presidential candidacy.
Now it’s becoming clear the exact opposite is true: The controversy is helping Trump.
In fact it appears every controversy is helping Trump.
In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslim immigration to America earlier this month, a national reporter contacted our founding editor asking him what he thought of the politics of Trump’s controversial proposal.
“I think he is seizing upon something the rest of the field cannot – and frankly I think his ‘Muslim Wall’ will be every bit as popular with the GOP electorate as his Mexican Wall,” Folks told the reporter.
As we noted at the time, Trump became the GOP presidential frontrunner by speaking bluntly about the dangers of illegal immigration from Mexico.
“(And) now he appears poised to remain the GOP presidential frontrunner by speaking similarly about the dangers associated with immigrants from Muslim countries,” we wrote.
The “Republican” establishment? It did exactly what Trump wanted: Attack him.
Both times …
The result of this dynamic? Another surge for Trump at a time when many expected his candidacy to be overtaken by one (or more) of his “Republican” rivals. According to the latest aggregate polling data from Real Clear Politics, Trump is currently drawing the support of 35.6 percent of the GOP electorate – up more than six percentage points from the time he issued his Muslim proclamation.
Speaking in broader terms, though, what happens when you juxtapose Trump’s various verbal incendiaries with his poll position?
Bloomberg has the answer …
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“While it’s impossible to know if there’s a direct correlation, the results are there to ponder,” Bloomberg’s Phil Kuntz noted, adding “the Republican presidential candidate’s controversial statements don’t appear to have diminished his appeal any.”
News flash: There is a correlation.