Donald Trump has run for president before. However, this is the first time he’s actually taken control of the primary and, at least to this point, run away with supporters.
When Trump announced he would run for president and seek the Republican nomination, many scoffed, laughed, and simply assumed he intended on bringing in some media attention for a new reality television show or hotel. These people who laughed though didn’t see the connection he would make with supporters around the United States.
While he has become a polarizing figure since the beginning of the race, the support he’s received has continued to grow as well. Now, Trump holds a commanding lead in the Republican primaries while other candidates drop like flies.
First, A Bit of Caution
First of all, it is important to put out a bit of caution. Yes, Trump is leading handily against the remaining candidates for the Republican nomination. However, it is still early in the race and most of the states to hold primaries are not major players.
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are not extremely populated states, so there is a long way to go and many of the more crucial states are still ahead.
This includes Texas, one of the largest in terms of delegates, a state Ted Cruz is senator for. As it stands though, Donald Trump holds a commanding lead, and as he continues to move from state to state, it does not look as if his momentum will slow down anytime soon.
All the Momentum
Politics, much like sports, can rely on momentum. When someone has it, nothing seems to stand in their way, especially when running within the same party. Once it is lost, it is nearly impossible to grab it back. Ben Carson is a prime example of this.
Just a few months ago, he and Donald sparred for the top spot in the polls. Now he is just one more failed state away from dropping out. The other candidates are essentially battling for second place, hoping to collect delegates where they can while crossing their fingers that Trump will stumble somewhere. The big issue for other candidates though is Trump understands how to work with the media and how to turn a bad situation around.
Senators have only a small level of experience working with the media. They might give a press conference, release planned statements or discuss important votes with a few reporters here or there, but nothing to likes of Donald Trump.
He has been in the spotlight for his real estate business, knows how to deal with criticism (such as after different hotels or casinos have failed), has appeared on the late night television circuit and really done it all.
He has written books on building an empire with chapters focusing on working the media as well. Against a more traditional rival, the other candidates might stand a chance. Against Donald Trump, he is proving to be a very different animal and one they just don’t know how to react to.
Dropping Like Flies
While Carson holds on by a thread, other candidates are dropping out left and right. Jeb Bush recently dropped out of the race. At the start of the presidential debates, he seemed like someone people would draw to. Between his experience as the governor of Florida, his time spent in South America with his wife and his ability to interact with people of different backgrounds, many in the Republican party assumed he would come out on top.
However, his campaign just never caught any traction, not to mention he probably received more bad luck than any other campaign in recent memory (such as being told by the Rotary Club he was out of time and was forced to sit down in the middle of a speech or Donald Trump buying the JebBush.com domain and putting his own campaign website on it). Now, it more or less is a three person race between Trump, Cruz and Rubio.
True to the Voters
One thing is very important to keep in mind though. Should Trump hold on to win, it will be because he won the popular vote. This is unlike the Democratic primary, where the super delegates are stealing the candidacy from one and handing it to another.
With this in mind, it may prove beneficial for the Republican party as moderates see their Democratic vote not count and then switch to vote for the Republican party. All of this drama still has to play out and should prove interesting in the coming months.