7 Reasons The Donald Helps the GOP
Trump Is A Stalking Horse. Let’s imagine that you could design a candidate who would draw nearly 100% of the media attention at the beginning of a race, long before polls mattered or primaries were scheduled to take place. Let’s also imagine that this candidate had no real shot at winning any of those primaries, and that the candidate would eventually either blow himself out or fade away after the curiosity factor worked its way through the public system. Wouldn’t you, as a rival candidate, beg for such a candidate to enter the race? After all, it would give you the ability to raise money quietly, do grassroots work without media scrutiny; it would force the media to lavish its attention on your rivals across the political aisle while spending their focus on this Big Name Candidate. That candidate is Trump. According to polls from Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia this week, Hillary Clinton loses to Rubio, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), and former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL). Does that happen if the media spend all their time and effort debunking those three candidates? Or does it happen because the media are so distracted by Trump that the other three get an opportunity to fly under the radar? Barack Obama was able to use Hillary Clinton’s high name recognition in 2008 to fly under the radar all the way to the nomination; by the time Hillary tried to define him, it was too late. Other Republicans could do the same here.
Trump Generates Attention. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently pointed out, “Trump is in that debate, it’s going to get three times the audience.” That’s exactly right. Primary debates aren’t exclusively designed to help Republicans pick their candidate – the debates are also designed to allow future general election voters to get first impressions of the other candidates. The more direct contact between voters and candidates without the filter of the media, the better. Furthermore, Republicans have been caught in the vice of media malpractice when it comes to issues like illegal immigration: the media won’t cover such issues unless a Republican makes a mistake, in which case the cameras descend en masse. Trump solves that conundrum: he says outrageous things, the media show up, and the other candidates get a chance to speak rationally on topics the media nearly always ignore. Never underestimate the benefit of someone who can bring busloads of media down to Laredo, Texas just to listen to him talk.
Trump Doesn’t Suck Money Out Of The Race. For all the talk of Trump as a distraction, he certainly doesn’t suck money out of the Republican race: in his last FEC filing, filed last week, Trump had drawn just over 60 donors. He’s self-funding. Read More…