Donald Trump's controversial rhetoric is winning him points in GOP presidential polls, but not with the Republican establishment or with many in the businesses community who have cut ties with him following his comments linking illegal immigrants to crime.
Experts were divided on Trump's impact and staying power on Thursday's edition of "The Hard Line" on Newsmax TV.
Story continues below video.
Watch Newsmax TV on DirecTV Ch. 349, DISH Ch. 223 and Verizon FiOS Ch. 115. Get Newsmax TV on your cable system — Click Here Now
Trump is running second to front-runner Jeb Bush in most polls, and is also leading in North Carolina, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey.
Though Trump is polling high among Republican primary voters, he also ranks high among voters who say they wouldn't vote for him under any circumstances, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Two governors, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio, are set to announce later this month, giving each a bump in the polls. Trump is likely to stay high enough in the polls even after those 15th and 16th GOP entries to participate in the early debates.
"But it's about as far as he can go, because there's enough people out there who simply said we'll never vote for him," Murray said.
Trump will continue to be around, Murray said, but will probably do "a little bit more mischief than have any actual impact."
Ryan Girdusky, contributing writer for RedAlertPolitics.com, said that what Trump is doing isn't mischief, but populism.
"That's what Donald Trump is selling, and that's what the American people want," Girdusky said. "It's very easy to dislike Donald Trump. He has a very jerkish behavior. That is what made him a success and a reality star."
Trump is resonating with the working class, especially male voters, Girdusky said. "It's the same reason Bernie Sanders is resonating. … This is the season for populism in this country."
Jeb Bush, on the other hand, is out of touch with the GOP and is "running in a Republican Party of the '90s, and it doesn't exist anymore," he said.
Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said Trump is "sucking all the oxygen out of the room." Even though he is right on some of the issues, including illegal immigration, trade and China, "being right doesn't win elections," O'Connell said.
Story continues below video.
Most voters have short attention spans, and the mainstream media are using Trump's outrageous statements as clickbait, O'Connell said.
"Every time Donald Trump's name is in a headline, guess what, it brings eyeballs," he said, "And, unfortunately, I got to win a presidency in 2016 because there's no way in hell that I can allow Obama's apprentice-in-chief, Hillary Clinton, to walk right back in the front door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.