A new Washington Post poll confirms that Donald Trump is surging with Republican voters. In this latest survey, almost 6-in-10 Republicans have a favorable view of Trump, a complete reversal from a poll just two months ago.
In that survey, just 40 percent of GOP voters viewed the real estate developer favorably.
Trump’s rise is injecting drama into the nomination fight, which hitherto had been a rather dreary slog of new candidates entering the race. Every new entrant into the race followed a traditional script and media rollout, while Trump, perhaps unsurprisingly, has exerted a near-mythical gravitational pull on the nation’s media and political conversation.
Virtually every Republican voter is currently talking about Trump. The current narrative of the GOP contest is a battle between Bush, Trump and everyone else, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker the clear leader of the “other” candidates.
The “Senate Caucus” of the nominees, Sens. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are stalled in the mid-single digits of support. Personalities like Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee have a similar level of support.
With a political eternity between now and the Iowa caucus, much of the current positioning would be academic and of real interest only to political junkies. In the world we currently live in, almost anything can happen between now and January.
In just a few weeks, however, Fox News will host the first Republican debate. Bowing to the needs of TV programming, Fox will only allow 10 candidates to compete in the debate. Candidates left off the stage will struggle to build the support necessary to compete.
With its debate Fox News isn’t merely covering the nomination fight, it will be shaping it. When it does air on August 6, all eyes, and all the other candidates’ barbs, will be on Trump.
Would Trump have scripted it any differently?