- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2016


There is a real revolution going on in the Republican Party.

It’s not driven by ideology: Social-conservative platforms on abortion and gay marriage, national security concerns, free-market economics or constitutional theory. It’s not even about electability.

It’s about one thing only: Burning the establishment down.

It’s the reason why businessman Donald Trump’s gaffes may never catch up with him — because the public that’s voting for him don’t care. They hate the elite political class more.

Last week, the GOP presidential front-runner offended many conservatives with his answer on abortion and theory of what should be main tenants of the federal government. But as Byron York from the Washington Examiner noted on Monday, Trump supporters in Wisconsin seem undeterred by the controversies.

“I, of course, did not survey the whole crowd in Wausau, but no one told me the abortion controversy or any of Trump’s other problems in the last week had diminished their support for the Republican front-runner,” Mr. York reported, after attending a Trump rally in the Badger State over the weekend.

Mr. York’s analysis may be highly anecdotal, but it’s been backed up by exit poll data this election cycle.

Exit polls from across the country suggest it’s not what Mr. Trump says policy-wise that attract voters to him, it’s what he represents: A political outsider, who doesn’t speak like a politician, act like a politician, and is ready to take on all politicians — even if means a knock-down, drag-out fight that decimates the Republican Party.

To Mr. Trump’s voters, it’s not about electability in the general, it’s not about Mr. Trump’s favorability levels (which are the lowest among everyone running for office; with 72 percent of women having an “unfavorable” view), or that he could put the House and Senate Republican majorities at risk. It’s that he talks like them and promises change.

Amy Walter of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report has done the exit poll math, and of the four values — “can win in November,” “shares my values,” “tells it like it is,” and “can bring needed change” — almost 50 percent of the Republicans who have voted said a person who “tells it like it is” and “can bring needed change” mattered the most in deciding their vote. Of those people, Mr. Trump dominated — no one else came close.

“In other words, about half of the GOP electorate values shaking up the system more than sticking with the system,” Ms. Walter wrote.

It’s wake-up time for the establishment. Republican voters’ hatred for politics as usual, and the political, elite class, may far outweigh anything Mr. Trump can do or say.

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