At Bloomberg, Michael Bender attempts to explain the rise of Donald Trump.
While the obstreperousness of Bay Staters should never be underestimated, there may be a better explanation for the phenomenon that has Trump at No. 1 in national Republican polls, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at No. 2, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as the only other candidate with significant upward movement in the past month of polls. And that explanation may represent the biggest challenge facing the other candidates who will share the debate stage with them Wednesday night.
Of the 11 candidates who will participate in the prime-time debate on CNN, only Trump, Carson, and Fiorina have never held public office. And in this campaign year, the absence of that bullet point on their résumés is turning out to be a big plus.
The rise of the three outsiders may be the latest progression for a Republican Party that, for the past three election cycles, has been sowing the seeds of a movement now threatening to topple the party’s best-funded and most politically experienced candidates. Sharp-edged rhetoric against Obamacare, taxes, regulations, and just about anything associated with Washington seems to have produced some unexpected collateral damage. Republican candidates have run for so long and so hard against government, that, at least for the moment, any candidate who has served in government is being hurt.
Read the whole thing.