The Republican party establishment must be having sleepless nights over Donald Trump shooting to the top of the polls in their presidential primary. Pundits have been consoling them by suggesting that at some point Republican voters would tire of him and his numbers would come down and a candidate that is more acceptable to the party, such as Jeb Bush, would gain ascendancy.
However, they never gave a plausible reason for why voters would get disillusioned with Trump and he has maintained his lead now for four months and the realization is sinking in that they are stuck with him for the long haul.
The first signs of someone overtaking Trump has appeared but this must be an even worse nightmare for the party since a new Quinnipiac poll in Iowa shows Ben Carson with a 28%-20% lead over Trump. The party favorite Jeb Bush has dropped to sixth place with just 5%, tied with Carly Fiorina. The sample size was 574 with a margin of error of 4.1%.
Yes, the Republicans of Iowa think that Trump is not crazy enough for them and have gone with the more soft-spoken but weird nutcase. Carson is clearly a religious zealot with delusional ideas and it seems like there are enough Republicans out there for whom such a person is their dream candidate. So it looks like the people of Iowa favor someone who is a genuine crazy conservative over someone who might be just playing one on TV.
An NPR reporter talked to some people who attended a Carson event and they spoke of him like he was Jesus. Addy Earhart said that she was “shaken” and “nervous” just at the prospect of being in his vicinity. Kathy Yosten teared up when talking about him, saying “I love that man. He’s wonderful. He’s calm. He’s intelligent. I see a goodness in his eyes. He makes me feel safe.” Beverly Belew said, “Oh, my heart was racing just to see his face, to walk up there and his smile. He smiled at me, and he said, welcome. And I said, I love you, Dr. Carson.”
As the reporter said, the reaction was like a “teenage fan meeting a Taylor Swift or a One Direction”.
If the Republican party establishment was having sleepless nights over Trump, one can only imagine what they would go through if Carson becomes the solid front-runner everywhere.