(2) Why is Donald Trump winning? Duh, because of immigration ‹ Reader — WordPress.com
“Donald Trump will never run out of money,” pollster Frank Luntz said Tuesday of a businessman who has gone bankrupt at least four times.
“Nobody leaves a race because they get tired, or because they think they don’t have the votes,” Luntz told the Associated Press, asserting that because Trump’s funds are infinite, the longtime entrepreneur is “incredibly powerful.”
Trump, who made funding independence a centerpiece of his June campaign announcement, is happy to promote that message. But dollars alone would not have bought the casino magnate’s sixfold increase in support among Republicans – from 4 percent in May to 24 percent in July (as measured by a Washington Post–ABC News poll that asked registered voters for whom they would vote today).
Money alone also fails to explain why the former “Apprentice” meanie has weathered a political misfire – mocking the military service of Senator John McCain, a man who spent seven years in a notorious North Vietnamese prison – that would have ended all campaign hopes for an ordinary candidate.
The Donald’s surge is happening for other reasons. And the most obvious one is this: Voters like him because he opposes immigration.
The scope and nature of Trump’s opposition is not fully revealed, but the voters have responded. No wonder. Fire-breathing resistance to immigration is a stance that has drawn popular support since at least the early nineteenth century. Politicians, Republican and Democrat, ignore that support at their own risk.
Another of the GOP presidential candidates has also tried to grab the banner of immigration restriction. But Ted Cruz has been unable to capitalize on his own calls for tougher restrictions at the border and elimination of illegal immigration.
Other than the Texas senator, whose support among registered Republicans dropped from 8 percent in May to 4 percent in July, the Republican field is notable for its immigration accommodationists. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (who placed in the Post-ABC poll with 12 percent, up from 10 percent in May) supports broadly easier immigration from established business principles. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (who took sixth place with 6 percent, down from 11 percent in May) supports it in hopes of inheriting President Obama’s counterculture-friendly vibrations. There is a wide variety of opinion among the candidates, and the vocabulary of “comprehensive reform” allows them much material with which to muddy and mute their stances.
Trump, by contrast, has taken immigration front and center, and his campaign has gained ground. You can argue with his facts. You can point out that the only time to worry about immigration is when it stops. You can note that 2015 immigration rates continue to be toward the low end of historic rates. You can make fun of his Mexican clothing and staffers. But facts do not matter to political sentiment.
Opposing immigration stirs people’s souls. It has for almost as long as there’s been