Voters really do want to throw out establishment politicians, according to all the latest polls and the rising tide of enthusiasm over outsider presidential candidates like billionaire Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.
A Quinnipiac University National poll suggests that voting, grassroots Republicans are unhappy with establishment politics. According to the poll, 73 percent of GOP members believe someone living outside politics and the beltway would have experience that would make for a better president.
Anger is fueling a lot of the political leanings, according to strategists. Many Americans feel that both the Republican and Democratic parties don’t care about them and only want to line the pockets of the wealthy and powerful, they said.
“There are a lot of voters who are exceptionally frustrated with traditional politics and politicians and who quite simply feel failed by the system,” said pollster Geoff Garin, who advises Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Iowa polling proves voters are looking to outsiders. A CNN survey released earlier this month has Trump leading with 22 percent. Carson was in second place with 14 percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is in the third place slot with 9 percent.
Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald conducted a survey in New Hampshire, an early primary state. Those results also put Trump in the lead with 18 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an establishment candidate, is in second place; and another GOP establishment favorite, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, is running third in the poll. Outsiders like Tea Party favorite Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and businesswoman Carly Fiorina are running fourth and fifth in both Iowa and New Hampshire polls.
Most expect Cruz to rise higher in the numbers because his campaign is extremely well funded, and Cruz has an organization and significant grassroots campaign infrastructure. Experts said he could take the lead if Trump’s numbers ever wane.
Crowds are responding to the outsiders’ messages. Carson’s rally in Des Moines, Iowa, saw one of the largest crowds so far this campaign season. Interest in Fiorina grew after her performance in the first presidential debate. Trump’s rally in Mobile, Ala., grew so large it had to be moved to a stadium. More than 30,000 attended.
Some Republicans said this too shall pass.
“A lot of the Trump stuff is an emotional response to being furious about the establishment, about immigration, all these other sensations that are not illegitimate feelings but that are not going to be politically viable for the long haul,” Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant said. Wilson is not working for any presidential candidate in this campaign.
The Democratic presidential race is also involved in an upheaval, even though the candidates are both political veterans. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, is drawing huge crowds at his rallies. He also beat frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the first time in the New Hampshire poll, claiming 44 percent of likely Democratic voters to Clinton’s 37 percent.
This is contrary to the Quinnipiac University poll stating that only 18 percent of Democrats would prefer an outsider candidate in the White House.
Strategists said citizens want candidates to be real and say what they think. That’s one reason Trump and Sanders are doing well, according to experts.
“People feel that the candidates are too manufactured, there’s not enough spontaneity. They want someone who, even if they don’t agree with them, is telling it like they see it, really leveling with voters. I see that with Bernie and I think with Trump, too. It’s resonating very powerfully,” said Democratic strategist Tad Devine.
The independents, who both parties clamor for, are also favoring a shake up in the nation’s capital. According to the Quinnipiac University poll, 55 percent believe an outsider would have better experience for the U.S. presidency than a career politician.
Other presidential candidates in both parties said they aren’t worried about today’s polls and insist that a year of campaigns will make a difference in the way voters will cast their ballot in the primaries. However, political experts said they may have reason to worry.
Elections now are different than in the past. Previously, establishment party operatives could shut an insurgent candidate out of the media, outspend campaign money, or work to cut off money from key supporters.
“The establishment had almost ironclad control over the rules, over the money,” said Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, manager of Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign. “They could form a firing squad and just hail ammo at you until you drop.”
However, two aspects have changed in this election. The primary difference is the effects of social media. It is free and makes it easy for all candidates to expound on their message and increase supporters’ involvement. Citizen journalists chronicle campaign stomps and spread the word about a candidate’s views, even if the mainstream media does not cover them.
In terms of money, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission removed certain limits on contributions. That is creating a new revenue stream outside the establishment for fresh-faced candidates. Besides that, Trump is funding his own campaign.
“Both parties are losing control,” Trippi said.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth