The dominance of non-politicians and political outsiders in post-debate GOP presidential primary polls shows that mainstream media outlets and political insiders may want to pay more attention to the Breitbart Primary, which has been a leading indicator in gauging which candidates have been resonating with the conservative grassroots.
Before non-politicians Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and outsider Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) started to surge in state and national polls, they were besting their more establishment rivals in the Breitbart Primary, which is reset each month to gauge the preferences of Breitbart News readers and conservative primary voters.
In CNN/ORC’s most recent Iowa poll (conducted August 7-11), Trump leads with 22%, followed by Carson (14%), Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (9%), Cruz (8%), and Fiorina (7%). A CNN/ORC national poll released on Tuesday found Trump in the lead with 25%, followed by Jeb Bush (13%) and a surging Carson (9%). Respondents in the Iowa poll believed that Donald Trump (44%) was most likely to change Washington, and he was followed by Carson (9%), Cruz (8%), and Fiorina (7%). Trump is also closing in on Hillary Clinton and is the Republican who does best against her in a one-on-one matchup. Fox News’s first post-debate national poll found Trump in first place with 25%, followed by Carson at 12%. Cruz was next with 10%. A recent Suffolk University Iowa poll found Trump in the lead, and Carson, Fiorina, and Cruz were again in the top five.
Carson surged ahead of Walker, who finished second in the inaugural Breitbart Primary two months ago, in July’s Breitbart Primary before he moved of the Wisconsin governor in CNN/ORC’s Iowa poll. Breitbart Primary voters also disdain establishment politicians like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Bush barely registered in the last two Breitbart Primary polls before his poll numbers started to plummet in post-debate polling in Iowa and New Hampshire.
While those in the mainstream media may have just started to familiarize themselves with the crop of GOP candidates, Breitbart News has been covering the GOP field at various candidate forums and events. And the non-politicians and outsider candidates who have been resonating have made sure that voters know they are not a part of “politics as usual.” Trump, for instance, has blasted traditional politicians for being beholden to donors and lobbyists. He has said they are not capable of “making America great again and he, because of his wealth, would be independent from them. Fiorina has emphasized on the stump that she is not a “career politician” who belongs to the “professional political class.” Carson has said that “there are a lot of people in Washington who have held political office for decades” and “I really don’t see them doing a lot to move the country forward.”
On Breitbart News Sunday, Carson, the pioneering neurosurgeon who has proven that he can solve the most complex of problems, said “in order to solve problems, you need wisdom and a record of being able to solve complex problems” and that “doesn’t necessarily come from sitting in political offices for long periods of time.”
And Cruz, of course, has been fighting the GOP establishment since he arrived in Washington as the voice of the conservative grassroots in D.C. Not only has Cruz been unafraid to take on and call out House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Cruz has often indicted the permanent political class on both sides of the aisle. His mantra has been that the greatest divide is not between Republicans and Democrats but between the denizens in the permanent political class in Washington and the rest of the country.
And they–and their messages–have resonated with Breitbart Primary voters since its launch two months ago.
In July’s Breitbart Primary, Cruz edged out Trump, and three of the top six spots went to non-politicians Trump, Carson, and Fiorina. Cruz also won June’s inaugural Breitbart Primary, which started two weeks before Trump formally announced his candidacy, while non-politicians Carson and Fiorina fared better than their rivals. In June’s Breitbart Primary, Carson finished third among Breitbart Primary voters in South Carolina and Fiorina placed fourth in Iowa while finishing in third in votes received when second- and third-place votes were factored.
The mainstream media are surprised that candidates with non-traditional political resumes like Trump, Carson and Fiorina and a candidate in Cruz who has refused to kowtow to the GOP political establishment are resonating with conservative primary voters. But if they had been following the results of the Breitbart Primary, they would have been ahead of curve in seeing the rise of these non-traditional and outsider candidates in an election cycle in which voters are Republican primary voters are fed up with Washington’s permanent political class, especially those on their side of the aisle.