It’s official – the GOP’s need for a “non-coalition” candidate has left us with crazies.
Donald Trump has been top of the 2016 presidential election polls for a while now, but it was only a matter of time before one of the other guys in the race was going to catch up. Now a new poll shows Ben Carson tied with Trump. Ben Carson, the guy who sounds and looks like he just woke up from a nap after smoking a fat blunt of that new synthetic weed.
ABC News published an interesting poll the other day, one that spelled out a growing racial divide:
“Nonwhites see Trump negatively by a vast 17-79 percent… That said, whites are the majority group – 64 percent of the adult population – and they now divide evenly on Trump, 48-49 percent, favorable-unfavorable. Clinton, by contrast, is far more unpopular than Trump among whites, 34-65 percent. So while racial and ethnic polarization is on the rise in views of Trump, it remains even higher for Clinton.”
The GOP pretty much already lost the entire black vote, scoring just 4 percent and 6 percent of black voters the last two elections. Now, by potentially having a candidate whose brilliant plan to “make America great again” is to build a giant wall to keep out Mexican rapists, they’re headed down the same route with Hispanics. That’s a quick nose dive for a party that won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote back in 2004.
Trump’s supporters are people who are tired of being told they have to be part of some kind of coalition in order to have a political voice. They particularly hate being lectured about alienating minorities, especially by members of their own party – it’s the whole “tired of being PC” chant that thinly disguises their anger at no longer being able to use bigoted terms.
In the meantime, trying to gain some relevance, other potential candidates (at least they think there’s a potential) are trying to stay relevant in the only way they seem to know how – saying stupid things in a desperate attempt to get their poll numbers up.
Scott Walker, who last week said that building a wall along the U.S. border with Canada is a “legitimate issue to look at.”
During an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Walker said he’s been asked about it by some New Hampshire voters.
“Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire,” he said. “They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”
During the interview, Walker expounded on his ideas for securing the border against dangers. Watch his remarks on the issue around the 10:30 mark.
He later tweeted that a secure border is “a legitimate concern for the safety of our nation,” although he didn’t mention Canada. He added:
Law enforcement expressed concerns to me about border security. I won’t ignore them. – SW #Walker16
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) August 30, 2015
Just to put this little ridiculous pipe dream into perspective: According to “Market Watch” the U.S. border with Mexico is estimated at 1,933 miles across four states, the U.S. Geological survey says. On the other hand, the length of the U.S.-Canada border, excluding Alaska, is about 3,987 miles across 12 states, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Another 1,538 miles run along the border with Alaska.
The question of course that begs asking is, what the hell did Canada ever do to us, and who are these people in New Hampshire that are so afraid of them? Canada has sent us Rush (the band), Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, and countless others. With the possible exception of Justin Bieber, exactly what kind of a threat does Canada present?
The responses to Walker on Twitter were not kind:
— Wink Barry (@winkbarry) August 30, 2015
— Ken Rodbender (@im_very_future) August 30, 2015
@ScottWalker fuck me daddy
— George F. Chill (@fender_splendor) August 30, 2015
— Jack Straw (@J_Straw_KS) August 30, 2015
@ScottWalker thought Christie won the weekend with FedEx tracking but you pulled it out your Canadian wall.
— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) August 30, 2015
That last one is particularly hilarious as Chris Christie did in fact suggest that the U.S. use FedEx to track immigrants.
You can’t make this up. Really, you can’t.
Christie pushed back against “ridiculous” criticism of his proposal to track foreign visitors the way FedEx tracks packages, saying government needs private-sector expertise to tackle illegal immigration.
“I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous,” the New Jersey governor told an interviewer on Fox News Sunday who pointed out that foreigners do not have labels on their wrists.
“This is once again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology,” Christie said. “We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Now comes one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 GOP race. A Monmouth University poll shows Ben Carson’s support has unexpectedly increased by 15 points since the organization’s previous poll in mid-July. Meanwhile, former Iowa frontrunner Scott Walker, the guy who wants to build a wall along the border of Canada, has dropped 15 points to fifth place.
The three candidates in the Republican field who have never held elected office now fill the top three spots in Iowa, so it’s no surprise that two-thirds of GOP voters say they want an outsider who can bring a new approach to Washington over someone with government experience who knows how to get things done.
The third is businesswoman Carly Fiorina, who holds third place in the poll with 10 percent support, although criteria for the debate on CNN among the top 10 candidates threatens her chances of getting anywhere near a podium.
Carson’s favorability rating is the strongest in the field: eight in 10 Republican voters actually like the guy; as little as six percent don’t. His spike in the polls comes despite campaigning in Iowa only four days since the first Republican debate on Aug. 6, one of which was his Iowa State Fair appearance.
Ted Cruz is in fourth place in the poll with nine percent support, while Jeb Bush has plummeted to sixth place with five percent of the vote. Bush, incidentally, is the only GOP candidate to garner a majority unfavorable rating in Iowa, up nine points to 51 percent since mid-July – more than half don’t like him, in other words.
Pundits like to speculate that Trump has risen in the polls despite the ludicrous things he says. Carson, on the other hand, seems to have risen in popularity because of the ludicrous things he says. I’m going to assume that most readers are familiar with some of the things that have come out of Trump’s word-hole in the past couple of months; Carson has been relatively obscure – so here are a few of his best hits:
1) On whether being gay is a choice: “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight” and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
2) On political correctness: “I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany. And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”
3) On the IRS: “You know, we live in a Gestapo age, people don’t realize it.”
4) On Advanced Placement history class: “I think most people, when they finish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS.”
5) On veterans dying waiting for medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs: “I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider. And if we can’t get it right, with the relatively small number of veterans, how in the world are you going to do it with the entire population?”
6) On Obamacare: “You know, Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is, in a way, it is slavery in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”
7) On Obama’s appearance: When a colleague said the president “looks clean. Shirt’s white. The tie. He looks elegant,” Carson responded: “Like most psychopaths. That’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great.” He later said: “But he knows he’s telling a lie! He’s trying to sell what he thinks is not true! He’s sitting there saying, ‘These Americans are so stupid I can tell them anything.’”
8) On similarities between the Founding Fathers, who were “willing to die for what they believed,” and ISIS: “They’ve [ISIS] got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we’re busily giving away every value and every belief for the sake of political correctness.”
9) On the importance of the GOP winning the Senate in 2014: In August, Carson said he couldn’t be sure “there will even be an election in 2016” if Republicans didn’t go on to win that fall. (His wife also said they were keeping their son’s Australian passport handy if the election didn’t go their way.)
That’s right. That’s the guy who just tied Donald Trump in the poll. The GOP just confirmed that bat-shit crazy is the now officially the way forward in their party.