Who can explain Donald Trump’s popularity in the current election?

Iowa Republicans love Donald Trump, it seems, slightly more than two seemingly far more plausible candidates combined (Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis). Who can explain to me why this incredibly old guy is more successful with voters than Haley and DeSantis?

In some poll data from Iowa, it looks as though oldsters are the ones who love Trump. Just as here in Florida, it is the young people who love DeSantis the most:

Trump had a few successes before coronapanic overwhelmed his younger self, but what exactly did he accomplish that so many Republicans want him back?

(I haven’t been following the debates, etc., too carefully. Has anything happened that should alter my opinion that, though DeSantis is more aligned with my smaller-government political philosophy Haley is more likely to win a general election? (Americans overall seem to want a planned economy.))

25 thoughts on “Who can explain Donald Trump’s popularity in the current election?

  1. DeSantis fine but picked idiots as campaign advisers.
    Haley is awful, the Republican Hillary.
    Trump is Trump, and people living through the Biden years appreciate that more; but the most attractive thing about Trump is who his enemies are, and the most compelling reason to vote for him is that the people who used such illegal and evil means to prevent him from winning cannot be allowed to have that kind of success at their manipulations, or there will never be a fair election again.

  2. Phil, have a look at what Jamie Dimon said about Trump this week at the Davos festival. He does a nice job of explaining why people like Trump in 60 seconds. For context (if you don’t already know), Dimon has been a lifelong Democrat, yet he ticked off a number of things that Trump was correct about (key issues for many people): open borders, NATO, China, economy and taxes, regulation. Couple that with half the country that believes Biden is (and always has been incompetent…remember pretty much failed out of college and law school, plagiarized speeches and on and on) and Trump looks relatively great to many people. Also interesting is that more blacks voted for Trump the second time, so the racist tag many attribute to Trump doesn’t seem to be reality…many of them are starting to wake up and realize they’ve been bamboozled by the Democrats since Johnson’s Great Society…see comments by many recently on how open borders are screwing them (recent guy in Chicago).

    • Thanks for the Dimon interview. The things that Dimon highlights as appealing about Donald Trump, however, are also available in a much younger edition: Ron DeSantis (who actually might close the border!). And what about Nikki Haley? I assume that she gives lip service to the idea of closing the border. Does she propose anything that might work? (DeSantis wants to use the U.S. military, I think.)

    • Phil, your points on DeSantis and Haley are interesting ones and I wonder the same but my guess (can’t substantiate this with data or polls) is that many folks view them as Trump “lites” and so prefer the real deal, totally uninhibited and voicing the unfiltered disgust that many folks feel about current events (open borders, DEI, BLM, China and on and on).

  3. There’s no-one who looms quite as large on the republican side & the 2 party system is alive & well. Another 4 years of Bide it is. Surprised Bide did so little in term 1. His attempts to tax 401k’s failed. His student loan forgiveness plans went nowhere. His Ukraine aid did nothing. His economic stimulus packages just made everyone poorer.

  4. Vivek is DEI-Trump. He was always a Trump surrogate for people who want Trump in a diverse package. Vivek+Trump shows only a small age gap.

    Young people were most harmed by Covid and truly want accountability. Old people still watch linear TV and want what Fox wants: pharma ad dollars.

    DeSantis campaign was perfectly fine but people want TV drama and grievance and weren’t ready to move on to a normie leader so they blame the campaign. Polls diverged when the criminal indictments came down. https://twitter.com/SteveKornacki/status/1747250885514707121

    Haley is a terrible candidate. She’s just an agglomeration of poorly remembered talking points from donors and political consultants. https://twitter.com/DeSantisWarRoom/status/1743749989728186419

  5. Like JS, I too think that Trump popularity due to his persecution and double-standard treatment by the broken system. We do not have good knowledge of what is really going on behind the scenes but Trump’s persecution shows that he is the one who can change things, which is not clear from his record.
    Also, looking at Trump supporters and those with Trump derangement syndrome, it seems DJT has something special: mojo, charisma. It is not detectable for me but is seen by how he affects others and manifests in his incredible energy.

    • Not clear from Trump mixed domestic record, great economic and neutral coronavirus handling record.. His international policy record is uniquely great by all standards.

  6. “In some poll data from Iowa, it looks as though oldsters are the ones who love Trump. Just as here in Florida, it is the young people who love DeSantis the most:”

    Oldsters means anyone over thirty? That, I guess, means I’ve been old for almost 50 years.

    Why Trump? America first means Americans first- immigration, free trade… I’ve been thinking about who he is. Maybe William Jennings Bryan?

  7. Who can explain to me why this incredibly old guy is more successful with voters than Haley and DeSantis? Pavel!

    Trump had a few successes before coronapanic overwhelmed his younger self, but what exactly did he accomplish that so many Republicans want him back? Trump is able to comprehend and speak English. Joe Biden is too cognitively impaired to do this.

    • Toucan Sam, It is very simple, the voters can relate to Trump, Haley is too much of an intellectual with a degree in accounting and finance, the commoners will think of her as the smart annoying nerdy girl from their high school years. No one understands DeSantis, his message is not clear. Trump’s message is clear and to the point, he has very good marketing and publicity. Trump is also very effective at attacking Biden, Haley and DeSantis are useless at attacking Biden. The US voters are tired of having to think, so they will elect a dictator that will think for them and make their lives easier.

    • Haley is a war monger so she is instantly rejected. Might as well vote for Biden or any Democrate or Rino if you want war. DeSantis is good but would not have the requisite rage to take an axe to the deep state. And frankly, Trump is more qualified then him. Trump is a master persuader and deal maker. Too good, that is why they hate him so. But in a second term, after all that he has been put through, he would be raging and not have to worry about running again. That’s what we need more than anything.

      As for me I think that Vivek was clearly the best of the bunch, by far, and could perhaps have even been historically great and probably will be some day.

    • Rage is a bad helper, what is needed is energy, composure, character and craftiness. Trump sure has energy.
      At this point wish him to get elected, even though DeSantis would do fine. Trump may keep old school Republicans at home in November of this year but DeSantis would for sure garner fewer voters from former independent non-voters then Trump

    • “Rage” was the wrong word. I was trying to convey that the candidate needs enough energy to break out of the normal pattern of getting elected and instantly joining the military industrial complex. I agree with perplexed.

  8. Reason #1 – I think most voters vote for the candidate who will be the best for their wallet. Inflation under Biden has been severe. All the Washington DC money printing has sent inflation through the roof.

    Reason #2 – I think 99% of people who even think about politics at all will vote for whomever their party nominates. Trump is clearly the Republican party favorite.

    Reason #3 – Trump is very charismatic, like Bill Clinton. I met Bill Clinton once during a book signing, and his ability to command a room and project sincerity to people was unreal. It’s hard to even describe.

  9. To some extent, the way for a lot of people Biden was really just a vote against Trumpism, I think for a lot of people, a vote for Trump is really a vote against wokeism. The CEO guy made a good point: Trump is gross in a lot of ways, but he’s pretty much the only mainstream politician who is willing to acknowledge what this blog likes to harp on: Mass immigration, as practiced here, has costs, is actually expensive, and mainly benefits the wealthy (and the immigrants themselves). I think he’s tapping into the idea that the government, especially in the last 30 years or so, appears, to many people, as being run for the benefit of fairly small constituencies. (Rich people, immigrants, and government workers and officials) It’s arguable about how true it is, but it’s tough to argue that the sentiment doesn’t exist.
    As far as a planned economy goes, I don’t think people really know what they are voting for. If we admit that defense (and therefore aerospace) is basically a planned sector, and a huge part of healthcare is planned or semi-planned (Try opening a hospital and see how that goes), and transportation and energy are basically planned, it’s easy to see how people might be getting comfortable with the idea. Freedom is on the wane in a big way around here.

  10. I did not pay much attention to the debates, seems to me that in choosing an executive the focus should be on what he has accomplished not theater on stage. So I liked Gov. Ron because I though he had run Fl. well and to me that indicated he could manage something larger well. I thought Haley was fine also — she had proven herself in the past as a governor and at the UN. But neither so far has gotten much support for reasons that are not all that clear to me. One thing is it seems that there is a substantial segment of the electorate more interested in watching political theater and sticking it to the other side than improving their own lives. Trump’s pluses and minuses are discussed well and it seems to me fairly in Bill Barr’s autobiography. His big minus is that he has a limited attention span and is unable to see difficult problems to conclusion. So there was lots of theater in his presidency but not much in the way of lasting accomplishments. And some real failures like handing Covid over to Fauci and Collins (Barr says that unlike Gov. Ron. Trump did not have the attention span to get to the bottom of Covid), doing nothing while America’s cities burned in the BLM riots, refusing to accept the results of the election, and encouraging his supporters to stay home in the Georgia run off thereby handing control of the Senate to the Dems.

  11. I don’t think the “loving Trump because of his enemies” is a good explanation.

    If they ran Hitler, and the Democrats lost their mind and said “This guy is literally Hitler”, would Republicans say “This is our guy!”?

    If they ran Epstein, and the Democrats were even more outraged with him, would Epstein be in the lead today?

    If you listen to focus groups on Trump, you keep hearing two things again and again: “Strong” and “Businessman”

    To the dim-witted, acting like a bully is a proxy for strength.

    And people forget all those who made Trump their bitch.

    Remember when Trump became besties with Kim Jong Un, did extravagant photo-shoots with him, made him a mix-tape(!), and then got ghosted by him? All while Kim stalled for time (to build more weapons) and ultimately made no concessions?

    Remember the multiple occasions when Trump gave Putin everything he wanted, including plans for ending NATO?

    Charisma is harder to describe, but a tiny amount of time watching DeSantis and Haley bring the point home. They ooze desperation and insincerity.

    Trump, as a mentally ill fantasist, seems to believe everything he says, and can say anything confidently. This is what people perceive as strength.

    However, this act is only credible to idiots, which is why we see the rapid realignment of the two parties, with the high-school educated rallying behind Trump and all those with college degrees and beyond becoming democrats and unaligned never-trumpers.

  12. Watching people try to spin that there is world peace under Biden and there were dangerous wars under Trump, or anything close to that reality, reminds one that ultimately we are chimpanzees in gangs.

    The left is not misinformed or ignoring the news. A human being can look straight at a white wall, and see a black wall. I mean, actually perceive white as black.

  13. I think people like Trump because he fights back hard at the dems and doesn’t give a f**k. Bringing Bill Clinton’s accusers to the debate with Hillary was all time great strategy, sticking it in the faces of the media. That said I wish Trump was better. He says some really stupid stuff that doesn’t help (eg “I will be a dictator on day one”). If he was better at sticking to a good message he would win in a Reagan style landslide.

    His policies are a mixed bag but it doesn’t seem to matter.

    He recently proposed 10 percent tariffs across the board. This sounds more like a Democrat idea than a republican.

    When Trump was in office the deficit and debt increased at historical rates. I don’t remember him prioritizing deficit reduction. It was just spend, spend, spend. This also seems more like a Democrat than a republican.

    There is no perfect candidate. I wish Trump were better.

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