Mogul connects with frustrated middle class as GOP Establishment lashes out in desperation.
DES MOINES, Iowa — “I think they’re delusional,” said Sam Clovis, Donald Trump’s chief policy adviser and Iowa native, regarding his candidate’s persistent critics at National Review.
“This is absolutely a panic on the part of the Establishment of the Republican Party,” Clovis said.
Indeed, as it looks increasingly likely that the Trump train will steam through Iowa, straight through New Hampshire, South Carolina and on to the GOP nomination, “big government Republicans” are scrambling for relevancy.
Most of them simply refuse to recognize what has happened inside the Republican Party — a total disconnect with the concerns and desires of average Americans.
The main reason for the rise of the insurgent candidates in 2016 isn’t what many of the “experts” believe. It’s not that voters are just drawn to his celebrity or enjoy his insults to the high and mighty. It’s not just that they love his politically incorrect approach to the issues. It’s not just that they enjoy the “fun factor” at his rallies where kids are invited to run around his plane or get free helicopter rides.
The narrative of the GOP presidential primary is best understood by focusing on this one fact: For middle-wage earners in the U.S., the median income in 2014 was 4 percent lower than in 2000.
Pew Research released a report in December that painted a bleak, depressing picture of life for America’s working class. Both political parties — Republicans under George W. Bush, Democrats under Barack Obama — have presided over economies that have left them behind. Worse than that, both Bush and Obama advocated policies that made their economic lives worse in almost every way. And you bet they’re angry.
The rich have done fine. Not surprisingly, they weathered the past two recessions better than any other income group, says Pew. But the subset that suffered the most are some of Trump’s core supporters. Pew found that “adults with no more than a high school diploma lost the most ground economically.”
In other words, Bushism and Obamaism have failed them. The Establishment has failed them. And it was never clear how former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would govern in a markedly different manner than his brother, given his support for more massive trade deals, more immigration, more wars. That formula has been poisonous to our native-born, middle-income workers.
Whether fair or not, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is seen by most of these same voters as a younger, more politically talented version of Jeb. And they aren’t willing to grant him amnesty for his 2013 immigration push with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
According to a Gallup analysis of Republican and GOP-leaning independents late last year, Trump had a net favorable score of 36 points among men with no college education, compared to a score of 26 among college graduates. A report from the Public Religion Research Institute released in November also found that a majority — 55 percent — of white Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who support Trump identify as working class. In contrast, self-identified working-class whites only account for roughly a third of other candidates’ supporters.
“We’ve been waiting 30 years for somebody to come along and carry on the legacy of Ronald Reagan, and it hasn’t happened,” Clovis said emphatically.Still more.
Batting away his boss’s media assailers, he predicts major Trump victories...
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