Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | Donald Trump | GOP 2016 | 2016 election | Celebrity

Trump Exploits Power of Celebrity

By Tuesday, 25 August 2015 04:11 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The campaign of Donald Trump has been dismissed, derided, and flung aside like yogurt that has been a month past its sell-by date.

Despite all of this condescension, Trump continues to trump his detractors. His poll numbers maintain a solid double digit lead as a front-runner in a heavily splintered Republican primary field.

He speaks completely unfettered. He answers to no one because if you are worth a reported $3 billion-10 billion, depending who you talk to, you can speak fearlessly and independently.

There is also an undercurrent with the Trump campaign that many pollsters, pundits and experts are neglecting. It’s the Schwarzenegger Effect. You cannot pin a finite value on the power of celebrity. Trump’s celebrity is built on a successful business empire with the idea that he is a powerful force who knows how to make money.

His reality TV success over the last decade has given him the exposure to a wide variety of the electorate. A lot of this electorate never gets polled. The Republican National Committee is not sending them mailers.

They are American citizens who do not fall into the convenient category of “likely voter,” and so they are passed over in polling. This happened in 2003 and the candidate was Arnold Schwarzenegger in the California’s governor’s election.

Arnold Schwarzenegger won a recall election after the incumbent governor, Gray Davis, was ousted from office. Despite running as a Republican in one of the most liberal states in America, Arnold beat his closest rival in that election by over 17 percent.

Polls had showed it would be much closer with his Democratic rival, Cruz Bustamante. The presence of Schwarzenegger led to a huge turnout in registration and votes for him in the election. Arnold went on to win another landslide re-election in 2006.

The reality is only about 60 percent of voters have turned out in the last few presidential elections in the U.S., but the presence of a Trump candidacy could have a similar effect that Schwarzenegger did in California.

Those 40 percent of the electorate that may be forgotten because they cannot stand politics and generally don’t vote may have a candidate in Trump. He prides himself on being the anti-politician. He belongs to no establishment, and his beliefs are not an easy fit into a convenient political party.

He was for a single-payer healthcare and was strongly pro-choice 15 years ago, and he has supported both Republican and Democratic candidates with donations over the years. He is now against Obamacare and is pro-life.

This would typically be political suicide to have flip-flopped on both of those issues but not for Trump. The political reality is that most voters don’t fit cleanly into a Democrat or Republican mold.

If you look at the top 10 issues of either party, a lot of voters are single issue voters. Abortion, foreign policy/war on terror, environmental issues, union allegiance, immigration policy and economic policy are just a few of the single issues that drive people to vote for one party or the other.

Trump’s tough stance on immigration has gotten him some support, but he also has been able to cobble support from people who want to be tough on trade to bring jobs back to America.

Oddly enough for a billionaire, he is able to speak to voters in a way they appreciate: blunt, straight-forward and not politically correct.

This resonates with those voters who normally would not turn out in an election, similar to those who turned out to vote for the lovable action star Schwartzenegger in 2003.

If you take one look at one of Trump’s campaign events, it is very obvious that these are not typical Republican voters. The crowd is dominated by young people, something you don’t see with other GOP candidates.

Trump has brought a unique breath of fresh-air to the electorate. The rule books of the past no longer apply. Pundits and pollsters have been made to look like fools. Neglecting the power of celebrity is not wise.

In a general election, Trump doesn’t need all 40 percent of those who don’t normally vote. He will get 46-48 percent of the votes anyway due to the polarized electorate.

He needs only a few percent of the disaffected non-voters to gain the necessary electoral votes. Reaching those voters that the establishments have forgotten about is not only something The Donald is capable of, it could be his “trump” card.

Kevin Broderick serves as a consultant for a Fortune 500 Insurer in the Employee Benefits marketplace for large employers. He received a finance degree from Providence College. For more of his reports, Go Here Now

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There is an undercurrent with the Trump campaign that many pollsters, pundits and experts are neglecting. It’s the Schwarzenegger Effect.
Donald Trump, GOP 2016, 2016 election, Celebrity
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 04:11 PM
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