Love or hate him, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has staying power.
Since he announced his candidacy on June 16, Trump has captivated. According to Google Trends, the real estate mogul is the most-searched presidential candidate on Google in every state this month (with the exception of Vermont, where Sen. Bernie Sanders rules).
And curiously, when Trump makes a gaffe, nobody bats an eye – he has topped most polls since July 6, 2015.
Compare to rival Dr. Ben Carson. When the retired neurosurgeon committed U.S. foreign policy blunders of late, he saw an immediate impact at the polls. According to the latest polls released by Monmouth University on Monday, Carson has fallen from first place, with 32% of Republican voter support, to fourth place, with 15%.
What's the difference? Exactly why is Trump popular?
Here's a look at what makes the billionaire real estate tycoon so irresistible to voters…
Why Is Trump Popular?
- Trump isn't beholden to anyone. As Republican political consultant Shermichael Singleton pointed out in an op-ed for The Hill on Aug. 20, Donald Trump is "the antithesis of the establishment." Shermichael went on to explain that even though Trump's a member of the 1%, he isn't indebted to lobbyists or special interest groups the way his rival GOP presidential hopefuls are. Singleton pointed out that voters recognize this and associate Trump as both a candidate who cannot "be bought" and as one who can set his own political agenda.
- Trump is a shrewd businessman. Many compare presidential power to management of a business. And they think Trump's the right man for the Oval Office job. Even the likes of billionaire investor Carl Icahn support Trump's candidacy, especially his tax plan. Icahn told CNBC on Sept. 30 that electing the controversial real estate tycoon would be a "no-brainer" for American voters. Trump speaks to the middle class, explained Icahn, from the standpoint of a successful businessman. And he doesn't do it condescendingly, in speeches laden with legalese. He speaks to the electorate like he would a friend or business associate.
- Trump is anti-establishment. Republicans who consider themselves disenfranchised from the political mainstream see Trump as the presidential candidate they've been waiting for. He shares their opinions on issues like immigration, opinions they feel members of the GOP establishment are too timid to broadcast. Which brings us to the next major reason behind Trump's popularity…