Actually, I don’t expect him to ever poll more than 99 percent, not even among Republicans, unless the pollsters deliberately avoid Lindsay Graham, Rand Paul and their scanty assortment of followers.
However, this week Trump scored 40 percent – his best showing yet — among Republicans in a national poll conducted by an outfit called Gravis. I gather that this poll doesn’t meet the strictest scientific standards, because it is a so-called robo-poll, which means that people can easily ignore it. It is more likely to measure the enthusiasm and dedication of a candidate’s supporters – the assumption being that only the most devoted supporters of this candidate or that will bother to participate.
However, Trump also scored 28 percent among Republicans in the latest Quinnipiac poll, which is considered scientific enough. He seems to be shuttling between the high 20s and the low 30s in polls that are considered bona fide. Meanwhile, his closest rival in the Quinnipiac poll, Ben Carson, tallied only 12 percent of the vote, and no one else reached double digits.
So what happens when Trump, who finds it consistently easy to lap the field, winds up with 99.9 percent support – or some nearly such lofty total — from GOP voters in a reputable poll? With several months until the primaries, and nearly a year until the National Convention, he seems headed that way.
Will George Will, who reminds me of one of my favorite, oldtime show-biz personalities, Mortimer Snerd, continue to insist that Trump should be dumped and replaced with a safe, dull nonentity? If the Republican establishment, in the face of overwhelming opposition from the rank and file, finds some underhanded way to deny Trump the nomination, and substitute one of their usual Sure Losers, it could prove a fantastic bonanza for daytime TV advertisers on Election Day, with every single Republican stubbornly remaining at home all day on their family-room couches.
Yes, I have heard the standard arguments against Trump. He seems less than conservative on some issues, notably healthcare, and he has been making a lot of promises that could prove difficult or impractical to fulfill. (E.g., immigration.)
But the substantial pluralities of Republican voters who are lining up for Trump have heard these arguments too, and still they persist.
Do you know why? Because Trump delivers messages that resonate with the GOP rank and file. He has made it plain to people that he wants to lead the country where, for the most part, they think it should be led. Cracking down on illegal immigrants, strengthening the military, standing up to our adversaries in the world of commerce, getting tougher on crime.
No, he probably cannot accomplish everything on his to-do list, but the people who support him know that he will give it his best shot.
They don’t know any such thing about the other GOP candidates who, with a couple of exceptions, haven’t the guts to even try. That is, in the unlikely event that another Dole, or McCain, or Romney would even stand a chance of winning the election.