Real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump says he will announce once and for all in June if he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
There are a number of signs that Trump will in fact run for president this time — and indications are that he is doing well in the run-up to the announcement. Here are 14 reasons why:
1. Trump is polling extremely well. In the recent Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm poll in New Hampshire, the first primary state, Trump was the first choice of 8 percent of voters, finishing fifth in a field of 15 potential GOP candidates — ahead of Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Ben Carson, among others. It is important to note that no candidate got more than 12 percent of the vote, and since the margin of error was +/- 4.9, Trump was statistically virtually tied with the top candidates, Rand Paul and Scott Walker.
2. An official announcement could boost him even more. Trump pointed out himself that his numbers would improve if he was officially in the race: "If they thought I was running, [the numbers] would have been even better."
3. He consistently beats top-tier candidate in nationwide polls. He outpolled Marco Rubio and Rand Paul in another poll of Republican voters conducted by Monmouth University — 7 percent of respondents nationwide said they would support Trump for the nomination.
4. Trump is leaving "The Apprentice" for its next TV run. According to news reports, he has announced that he is walking away from the hit reality TV show, another strong indication that he plans to focus on a presidential bid.
5. Trump is preparing a national organization. According to The Washington Post, Trump is "gearing up" to launch a presidential exploratory committee. And the Washington Examiner reported that Trump has hired several political staffers to map out a potential campaign in early voting states including New Hampshire and South Carolina.
6. Trump has already begun actively campaigning. He visited key state South Carolina, attending a weekend summit earlier in May and distancing himself from lobbyists by declaring that he "doesn't give a [bleep] about lobbyists."
7. Trump is an outsider. He is distancing himself from Washington insiders. "Washington is totally broken and it's not going to get fixed unless we put the right person in that top position," he said in February in an address to activists at the Conservative Political Action Committee.
8. He has drawn an enormous response from the grassroots. Reactions to his speeches show his tremendous popularity. He got a standing ovation when he told the crowd in South Carolina that plans for a nuclear deal with Iran are "a disaster." He said: "I got by far the biggest standing ovations." He also got a standing ovation from the crowd at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January when he blasted rank-and-file Republican politicians and "was easily the most brazen speaker to take the stage," the Des Moines Register observed.
9. Trump is clearly differentiating himself from other candidates. He said Carly Fiorina "was dismissed, fired, really in a tough manner from Hewlett-Packard. Then she ran for the Senate from California, lost in a landslide. I wish her luck." He also said Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson "don't have a great chance" of winning, adding that "I could do a better job than anybody else."
10. Trump has the experience to rebuild America. After the tragic train derailment in Philadelphia, he got ink for tweeting: "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me — roads, airports, bridges. I know how to build, pols only know how to talk!"
11. He plans to be part of the debate. He said in a recent interview: "I get ratings."
12. He has tremendous name recognition, which is almost beyond comprehension. A two-time Emmy Award nominee, Trump has hosted the popular show "The Apprentice" on NBC since 2004. And in business, attaching the Trump name to an enterprise immediately marks it as a premium venture.
13. Trump is a true American success story. He is the only Republican candidate who can claim the "Triple Crown" in American life, having become one of the foremost leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
14. Trump carries clout with voters. His endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his robo-calls to voters in Ohio, Michigan, and other states made a big difference in the 2012 GOP primaries and demonstrated his political clout as Romney won in each state where Trump ventured.
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