Let me reverse my usual ordering of snippets and begin with the bottom-line question asked by Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel Maddow:
... ask yourself this: if you removed the names from the poll results and look solely at the numbers, how quick would you be to dismiss the one candidate who’s stood atop every poll for the last three months?
And that one candidate would be Donald Trump.
Benen covers new poll results showing that Trump is holding on to the lead among GOP candidates for president.
From NBC/Wall Street Journal:
- Donald Trump: 25% (up four points from September)
- Ben Carson: 22% (up two points)
- Marco Rubio: 13% (up two points)
- Ted Cruz: 9% (up four points)
- Jeb Bush: 8% (up one point)
- Carly Fiorina: 7% (down four points)
- Donald Trump: 27% (up three points from September)
- Ben Carson: 22% (up eight points)
- Jeb Bush: 8% (down one point)
- Marco Rubio: 8% (down three points)
The remainder of the rat pack are down lower in the single digits. Fiorina, for example, appears to have burned out after courting the voters with her lies about Planned Parenthood.
... National Review published a striking piece yesterday noting that the GOP establishment, long confident that Trump’s backing would be fleeting, is starting to reevaluate its assumptions.
"Trump is a serious player for the nomination at this time," says Ed Rollins, who served as the national campaign director for Reagan’s 1984 reelection and as campaign chairman for Mike Huckabee in 2008.
The same piece quoted Steve Schmidt, an MSNBC political analyst who managed John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, saying, "Trump has sustained a lead for longer than there are days left" before voting begins in Iowa.
There is still time for Trump to go the way of other candidates who have been ahead in October. But the guffaws are abating and snickers are subsiding. We all, conservatives and liberals alike, may have to suspend any belief that "It Can't Happen Here."