In a National Journal poll of “political insiders” a majority believes Donal Trump will be out of the race before the Iowa caucuses in February 2016. 57% of Republican and 65% of Democratic insiders expressed the opinion Trump’s popularity at the moment is fleeting and will burn out within months.
The poll is published on today’ National Journal website and includes the results, a list of about 300 participants and pithy comments from the insiders, like “He loves the limelight but won’t want to be a loser—would rather be a quitter…” and “Unscripted, he will crash and burn by Thanksgiving.”
Author’s note: With all due respect to these “insiders,” Trump is a new phenomena.
While it’s true candidates often have their 15 minutes of fame and then drop like a rock (Herman Cain comes to mind), it is the shift in the whims of campaign donors that usually will do in a candidate. Donors flock to the most promising candidate because they ultimately want influence with the winner, and their best source of information is polls. All of these guys have big egos (I frankly wouldn’t vote for a candidate without one…), but Trump has plenty of cash, and so he can easily weather a poll drop, and live to fight another day.
Trump’s strategy has been that attributed to James Bond – provoke and confront. It’s very effective in generating press in a “sensational” way and hitting those viral chords. Of course he knows the attention span of the average “low information voter” is on the order of 3 days, and his team has learned some Clinton strategies for handling the press and short-circuiting storylines.
This does, however, reveal a weak spot in the Trump campaign. He still has not convinced the established insiders he is for real, they doubt his abilities and are still suspicious of his true intent. Those core voters who are knowledgeable of the issues are a very noisy bunch and have great influence, especially in the primaries (Donald, give us a call we can help you fix that!).