Even though Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been leading in many recent national and state polls among the 17 candidates seeking the GOP nomination, his favorability rating has been sub-par. As of last weekend, that has started to change.
A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Monday finds 23 percent of likely Iowa GOP caucus goers support Trump, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson who has gained some ground on the real estate mogul with 18 percent. Neither of them is a traditional politician.
Remarkably, Trump has a 61 percent favorability rating in the poll and only a 35 percent unfavorability rating. In May, the numbers were virtually opposite, with 27 percent favorable and 63 percent unfavorable.
Trump also leads – with 28 percent – a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday surveying registered Republican voters across the country. Carson is second with 12 percent, while former Gov. Jeb Bush has 7 percent.
Since Trump announced his presidential bid in June, pundits have contended he would not be the nominee.
“It’s possible that he’s already peaked — or that he’ll hold his support all the way through Iowa and New Hampshire, possibly even winning one or two early states, as similar candidates like Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich have in the past,” wrote Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight earlier this month. “Our emphatic prediction is simply that Trump will not win the nomination. It’s not even clear that he’s trying to do so.”
Jesse Watters, a producer of The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, said with certainty last month that Trump would not be the nominee, but acknowledged his impact on the campaign:
Trump is not going to win the nomination, but he is tapping into the red blooded American blood stream. The people that are sick of watching a skinny community organizer running this country into the ground. And they want to see a more muscular approach.
One of Trump’s competitors, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, categorically predicted Trump would not win the GOP’s nomination. “Donald Trump’s not going to be the nominee of the Republican Party,” Rubio said on CBS This Morning last month.
Given that Trump has reversed his favorability numbers, one political observer has given him credit. “The Trump candidacy has rewritten — or at least smudged — lots of the rules of conventional politics,” wrote The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza Monday.
He says things that would derail other peoples’ candidacies. His shyness about specifics on, well, anything would be seen as a lightness bordering on cluelessness in other candidates. His pick-a-fight-a-day mentality would be seen as overly aggressive and tonally off if anyone else in the field did it.
But, of all the amazing things that Trump is doing — whether he realizes what it is he is actually doing — his ability to totally turn around his image is the most remarkable. It’s not something we’ve seen before. And it may not be something we see again.
Do you think Trump will now be viewed as a legitimate candidate by the media? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth