Donald Trump: Unexpected Impact on US Presidential Race
Dmitry MININ | 07.08.2015 | WORLD / Americas

Donald Trump: Unexpected Impact on US Presidential Race

Everything had been easily predicted in the US presidential race till Donald Trump upset the applecart. At the start it was a Clinton-Bush contest with Jeb Bush trailing hopelessly behind. Now there is a breath of fresh air to invigorate the race making Democrats and Republicans face a new reality. 

Democrats will have a long time to find a Hillary Clinton alternative, if they need one. Normally it happens when an incumbent president runs for a second term. All surveys show Hillary Clinton still leads the presidential race in every conceivable match-up. She will win hands down running against any candidate within the ranks of either her party or GOP. Her supporters make it look like everything is predestined. They are pretty certain Hillary Clinton is the favorite to win the White House. They sound convincing except one thing – they lack an action plan in case of contingency.

What if something goes wrong and Democrats will have no time to spin another candidate? Her opponents can remember a lot of things to make her vulnerable. The e-mail story may not be enough as no real damage was done, but the opponents from GOP are not sleeping.

The Republican Party has failed to offer something really new. Jeb Bush, former Florida governor (1999-2007), and another Bush to get into the White House, has so far failed to come up with new ideas to effectively counter the Democrat rival. At present, he is hopelessly lagging behind Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, a unique and charismatic person running on the Republican ticket, has suddenly crashed the gate to shake things up and give the race a new lease on life. He continues to rattle the paneled halls of the Republican Party establishment as new polls showed his popularity climbing among grassroots conservative voters. The controversial candidate leads the GOP primary field in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. Trump’s frontrunner status, moreover, reflects the crowded GOP race. He leads the 16-candidate field with 24 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents that are registered to vote, up sharply from 4 percent in May. While enough for a lead, that also means 76 percent prefer someone else, or none of them. Scott Walker has 13 percent support, Jeb Bush 12 percent, with the rest in single digits.

He seemed to meet the expectations of conservative voters who find appealing his calls to take a firm stand against illegal immigration get tough at trade talks with China and act more resolutely against the Islamic State. They like his uncompromising style. Trump has not lost his popularity even after attacking Senator McCain on July 15 to put into doubt his war veteran’s record. Trump knows how to attract people and how to boost his popularity. The 69 year-old real estate mogul, an owner of casinos, an organizer of beauty contests, and a TV reality shows star, a sociable, jovial and easy going person, Trump knows how to make people like him and attract voters’ support.

Trump himself calls his supporters «the silent majority» - a label first coined by President Richard Nixon in 1969. «There's a silent majority out there», «We're tired of being pushed around, kicked around, and acting and being led by stupid people». «The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back», he usually says addressing crowds of his supporters.

Americans appear to be tired of new ideas. Many of them believe the United States would go too far by electing a female president after the Afro American president has had his second term expired. Trump is seen as a representative of common people making up the majority of voters whom he claims to represent as the man who embodies the American dream. It’s not important that he sounds extravagant from time to time. People are tired of prepared in advance and politically correct speeches President Obama, a well-educated and well-tempered person, reads from a teleprompter. No matter Trump’s ostentatious propensity for making outlandish and bombastic displays of public absurdity on a regular basis, the billionaire knows how to woo the audience. True, Trump may sound doozy but he brings the message home and that’s what really matters.

He has his own views on what US policy towards Russia should be like. Trump believes that Obama is weak and nobody respects the United States till he is in power. Putin protects Russia’s interests and he is the one Trump could make a deal with.

No emotions. He is pragmatic enough to prefer cool and reasonable way of thinking. Donald Trump predicted on July 30 he would «get along very well with Vladimir Putin», no matter the Russian President is often at odds with the current administration. Elaborating on the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, Trump said he would have a great relationship with the Russian President. «It’s about leadership», he believes. According to him «I wouldn’t buy him. I wouldn’t buy him at all. I would be able to get along, in my opinion, with Putin. Now it’s possible not; I’m not saying 100%, but I think I would have a very good relationship with Putin. And I tell you what: it’s actually important for this country to do that. You can’t have everybody hating you. The whole world hates us. And one of the things that I heard for years and years: Never drive Russia and China together; and Obama has done that».

Donald Trump openly speaks out his mind to make him stand out among other candidates who take a very tough stand on Russia.

For instance, Jeb Bush said that «the West was confronting a «different» Vladimir V. Putin from the man who has led Russia in the past, escalating his reproach of an adversary whose territorial ambitions have shaken the United States and its allies in Europe». In remarks that recalled the words of his brother, President George W. Bush, who once favorably declared that he was able to sense the Russian president’s «soul», Jeb Bush said that Mr. Putin had changed. «This is a different Putin, much more aggressive», Jeb Bush said during a news conference during his European tour as an all-but-announced Republican candidate for president. Mr. Bush invoked Ronald Reagan’s plea to Mikhail S. Gorbachev, then the leader of the Soviet Union, to «tear down this wall», as well as the legacy of his own father, George Bush, who lent vital American support to the reunification of Germany once the wall eventually fell. Of course, going back to the days of Ronald Reagan does not bode well for the future.

Hillary Clinton also took the same stand as the Democrats in the Reagan’s days when they supported the views of the crusading Republican President. She calls for «containment of Russia» and rebukes European leaders of being too soft towards Moscow. She compares their attitude with the policy of appeasement when Hitler came to power in Germany. The right wing Republicans call for more balanced approaches to support the view that Russia more easily finds common ground with the GOP. True, they are obsessed with the idea of US grandeur and supremacy, but they are less prone to adventurism. A Libertarian and a neocon supported by the Tea Party, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks against the United States playing the role of world policemen and intervening in messy conflicts. In general, he and Trump share the same views on Russia.

At first glance Donald Trump narrows the chances for Rand Paul to become the GOP nominee as they share the views which are by and large similar. At that the eccentric billionaire’s campaign may run into difficulties. Experts believe he has few chances to become nominated at the Party’s convention, but he may go the whole hog and run as an independent. According to the recent Reuters/Ipsos survey, he will take votes away from GOP to a Democratic presidential contender to win the presidential election. Billionaire Donald Trump has taken a commanding lead in the race for the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential nomination with the support of 25 percent in a Reuters/Ipsos poll, giving him a double-digit advantage over nearest rival Jeb Bush. The poll shows Bush, the former Florida governor, trailing at 12 percent.

Reuters/Ipsos polling also shows that should Trump mount an independent bid next year and run in a three-way race, he will likely drain support from the Republican nominee and allow the Democrat to cruise to victory. Trump has refused to rule out an independent run should he fail to secure the Republican nomination. In a matchup with Democratic Party front-runner Hillary Clinton and Bush, Trump would tie Bush at about 23 percent among likely voters, with Clinton winning the White House with 37 percent of the vote. About 15 percent of those polled said they were undecided or would not vote.

The two leading GOP candidates, a mainstream Republican and a maverick, would get 46 percent of the vote, much more than Clinton. No matter that, the Democrat would win. Actually Donald Trump will help her get into the White House – something he’d hate to do.

It’s hard to make predictions, but Trump has options. For instance, he could make the Republican establishment face an ultimatum. He could withdraw from the race in favor of mainstream contender whose views he shares. It could be Rand Paul, for instance. Even if reluctant to do it, the party leaders could willy-nilly accept the proposal. Another scenario suggests that the both candidates join together as runners for president and vice-president. If none of the above mentioned options is accepted, then the Republicans will have zilch chances of winning.

Tags: US  Trump