HOUSTON, Texas — GOP frontrunner Donald Trump won three of the first four states during the GOP primary election cycle without securing a single endorsement from a sitting governor or member of Congress, something experts say is “significant” and “unusual.”
“The most recent ‘outsider’ who scored high in public surveys was Ross Perot. But he ran as an independent, and he quit and then reentered the race, so a comparison to Donald Trump is far from perfect,” the Director at the Hobby Center for Public Policy, Jim Granato, explained to Breitbart News when asked if it is a rare occurrence for a candidate to be successful without endorsements from key sitting politicians.
“If one goes back and examines outsiders and non-politicians who have secured the GOP nomination, it would have to be Eisenhower. So, this is unusual,” he added.
From all appearances, Donald Trump is throwing away the playbook. Consider, for example, how he is getting his message out without big, paid advertising blitzes. He is making great use of his media exposure. His expenditures are comparatively small given his frontrunner status. This is not the norm.
Trump secured the endorsements of Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) on Wednesday, but he was able to secure wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada prior to any endorsements from sitting politicians. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown did throw their support behind Trump prior to the real estate mogul collecting his three big primary wins.
Granato explained that this echoes Trump’s outsider phenomenon, which has driven the narrative this election cycle.
“One could say his ‘straight talk’ — or others could say his “lack of a filter” — has tapped into people’s anxiety about the war on terror, the economy, the budget, and immigration,” Granato added. “His policy positions, which are not yet clearly spelled out, seem to matter less at this point than the fact that he has not participated in what has happened the past decade or so…and he is as angry about this as the general public.”
“In conventional politics, what you want to try to do is try to get as many local endorsements as you can to show coalescing, to show strength within a particular state. Big national endorsements by nationally known celebrities or politicians are always good too,” former South Carolina GOP executive director and communications director for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Hogan Gidley, told Breitbart News.
“In the old days – three presidential cycles or so ago – an endorsement also secured the turnout apparatus of the individual. Now, I really think endorsements only get you one vote,” Gidley explained.
“That being said, it is significant that Trump is getting these endorsements because he’s not soliciting endorsements,” Gidley commented, referencing the recent endorsements by Collins and Duncan. “He’s a complete outsider and he doesn’t want to play the game and so it doesn’t really benefit someone who holds office to come out and support Donald Trump.”
“Someone like Duncan Hunter, he’s synonymous with national defense and national security, it’s a big pick up and what it does signal is [that] a lot conservative, well-known office holders are looking at Trump as a viable realistic presidential candidate.”
Trump previously said endorsements “mean very little.”
“Now, and as of yesterday, people were calling, a lot of people were calling and I’ll have many endorsements soon, but it’s not something I want to work for, to be honest with you, because it’s a waste of time,” Trump state during an interview. “Endorsements mean very little.”