Trump May Impact but Will Not Win


During a speech interrupted several times by shouts of “We want Trump” and “We need Trump now!,” billionaire Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He vowed to his supporters that he would make America a bigger competitor on the international level. However, one thing is sure. Trump may impact, but he will not win.

He was not even the least bit bashful about his financial situation. He let the crowd know that he was financing the campaign with his own money and was not using any financial support from lobbyists or other donors. Later in the speech, he would say his net worth was over $8 billion.  Trump made it clear that he was not talking about such things to brag but because he believed it was a mindset desperately needed to run the country.

Whether he gets elected or not, he will no doubt have an impact on the Republican presidential race for the nomination. In fact, there are a few areas where his impact cannot be avoided. But while Trump may impact, but he will not win.
First of all, if his poll numbers are high enough, he would cause a more typical, though maybe not as famous, candidate off of the CNN and Fox debates. Fox has said that it will evaluate the recent national polls that occur just before their scheduled debate to determine who will be allowed to participate. CNN has said it will follow a similar plan.  By name recognition alone, the wealthy tycoon may rank at the top.
Secondly, he always makes for great press. He is always an excellent sound bite due to his unabashed confidence. He also has very little of a filter when he speaks and also does not have much to lose.
In what seemed to be humor, he connected his business achievements in America with the Islamic State.  He pointed out that ISIS had just built a hotel in Syria and said that they were acquiring huge areas of the Middle East.  He said he was in competition with them.

Comments like this make for popular stories in the news and with the New York billionaire, there have been many.  His most recent speech alone could give birth to many stories and soundbites. He did say he wanted to build a wall on the southern border and have Mexico pay for it and that he would repeal and replace Obamacare.

In that fashion, he can throw off the press by sucking up airtime and forcing other candidates to have to answer for him. Other Republicans may be put in a situation where they have to answer for his remarks on issues such as the true place of birth for President Obama or Ted Cruz. While Trump may love the headlines, it will be an unwelcome annoyance to those running against him.

However, the impact he makes on the race will probably not matter for very long.  Trump may impact, but he will not win. There are a few reasons why this is so.

First, Trump is ultimately running for fun and the idea of a boost in the ratings.  While it is the first time that he formally declared himself a candidate, it is not the first time, he put out the idea. It’s good for his television appearances and his real estate ventures. Ultimately, win or lose, his candidacy is good for business.

Secondly, a March poll says that seventy-four percent of Republican voters could not see themselves voting for Trump.  Even if he manages to win over a good portion of the conservatives who currently stand against his candidacy, he will still not gain much traction as far as electability.

However, for all of the ways that Trump’s campaign announcement goes against typical political convention, he did end his speech on a traditional note. He pointed out that the American dream was dead. He was, he said, the man to bring it back to life again.

Opinion by Rick Hope

Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen


Chicago Tribune: Why Donald Trump is running for president- and why it’s great to have him.

Fox News: Donald Trump identifies as a person of seriousness

USA Today: This time, Donald Trump says he’s running

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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