Many ponder Donald Trump‘s persistent voter appeal. Longtime political observer Roger Stone recently suggested the candidate is an “alpha male” who would establish an “alpha male presidency,” which appeals to many Americans, Mr. Stone says. Others cite the billionaire’s blunt style.
“Even though he mangles sentences and his English is imperfect, it’s part of his shorthand. See, he comes from a New York businessman’s background, which you don’t understand unless you’re from the New York area. People speak differently there than in the rest of the country. They don’t waste time with words,” points out talk radio host Michael Savage.
“They start sentences and don’t finish them in New York in high circles. They’re not worried about being perfect, about finishing every little dot. They can telegraph what they’re saying with half of a sentence,” Mr. Savage says.
Others sometimes do the talking too. Voters are supporting Mr. Trump as “a means to vent their frustration on the establishment,” theorizes Frieda Birnbaum, a New York-based psychologist and author.
And some find only comedy. Late-night TV talk show hosts on four networks made Mr. Trump the target of 308 jokes during a two-month period this fall, finds a meticulous new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. And his Democratic rival? Hillary Clinton was the centerpiece of 107 jokes, the study found.
FOR AULD ACQUAINTANCE
Get the party hat ready. Fox News plans an “All-American New Year” celebration from Times Square in New York City on the big night, hosted by Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Bolling — and a special guest. Joining the pair via live video hookup from his swell home in Florida: Donald Trump, arriving on camera late in the 11 p.m. hour and staying through midnight, to ring in 2016.
POTENTIAL PERILS OF A THIRD PARTY
“The Republican Party will have to be very careful to keep Donald Trump happy enough that he sticks by his pledge not to run as an independent in the general election. Early indications are that could be nearly lethal to GOP chances of winning,” predicts Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, which has released a new poll of 1,267 voters on the subject.
Voters like Mr. Trump better as a Republican than an independent, apparently. Mr. Trump gets 24 percent of the vote as an independent candidate in a theoretical match-up with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio — but Mrs. Clinton is the victor with 38 percent. Had Mr. Trump run as a Republican, she would have trailed by 1 percentage point instead.
In addition, Mr. Trump garnered 23 percent of the vote if he ran as an independent against Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Ted Cruz. The result? Mrs. Clinton wins again, leading by 16 percentage points — rather than just 3 points had Mr. Trump run as a Republican.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DONATES SOME VENISON
A moment of interest to sport shooters: The National Park Service has donated 700 pounds of fresh venison to the DC Central Kitchen in the nation’s capital, “to be used in the thousands of healthy meals” for homeless shelters, rehabilitation clinics and afterschool programs. The venison is a result of a deer-reduction operation in the city’s Rock Creek Park.
In recent years the federal parks agency has reduced the white-tailed deer population in the big park by 50 percent each year to allow for recovery of vegetation. “Extensive safety measures” are in place for the project, which continues until March.
“Biologists, who are also highly trained firearms experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be working under the direction of National Park Service resource management specialists and in coordination with the U.S. Park Police and local law enforcement to conduct reduction actions at night when the park is normally closed,” the agency advises.
“We hope this will make the holidays a little brighter for those served by DC Central Kitchen,” says park superintendent Tara Morrison.
ONE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance is now accepting nominations for the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery and the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery.
“Every day, federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers engage in exceptional acts of bravery while in the line of duty,” the agency says, noting that Congress passed a law to honor such moments in 2008. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 15, 2016; find the information at BJA.gov/CBOB.
ON THE RADAR
Not that far off: the Jack Kemp Foundation’s “Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity,” to be moderated by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, with input from Opportunity Lives, the American Enterprise Institute and Economic Innovation Group. The theme is addressing poverty. On board so far for the event: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” says Jimmy Kemp, president of the host foundation.
POLL DU JOUR
• 66 percent of U.S. voters say the federal government is “broken”; 80 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.
• 32 percent say the government works “okay” or “pretty well”; 20 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.
• 56 percent overall say 2015 has been a “good year” for them and their family; 45 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.
• 32 percent overall say 2015 has been a “bad year”; 42 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 1,013 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 16-17.
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