Donald Trump continues to beat out his rivals in the polls, but the words voters use to describe him are not the usual of what one would expect to describe a man who could be the next US president.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 30, 2015
The poll of 1,000 people asked respondents to think of a word that describes Trump and do the same for Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, who scored albeit marginally better than Trump in the likeability factor. Other politicians did not fare so well either. Hillary Clinton was also associated with the word “liar” while “honest” was associated with Jeb Bush. Donald Trump did not do well compared to his republican front-runners being associated with all pejorative words, particularly “idiot,” “jerk,” “stupid,” or just plain “dumb.”
Despite these associations, Donald Trump leads in the polls by ten points and is resonating with a majority of the GOP constituency at this stage. The recent poll follows an entire campaign of Trump in which he has been accused of racism, sexism and rudeness. With all of these accusations and negative word associations, what is it that Trump has done? First, there are the usual verbal blunders. Donald Trump recently insulted a Fox News Anchor.
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
Trump has also been outspoken about his approval of Mexican immigrants.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”
Insulting war veteran John McCain, Trump voiced his disapproval of captured soldiers.
“He’s [John McCain] not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
And finally, to disprove critics, Trump says we should just trust he knows what he is doing.
“Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy.”
Trump has some interesting political allies. Trump and Sarah Palin “cozy up” in a recent interview.
It is not just Trumps purposeful verbal campaign against the politically correct, but also his actions that have people dumbfounded.
Trump once sued New York Times author Timothy O’Brien for $5 billion for reporting that Trump was only worth $250 million. In fact, Trump goes around the world correcting people over this issue, arguing with Deutsche Bank for undervaluing his assets. Despite Trump’s long-term debt having been near $1 billion, his reputation and credit in the financial industry remain platinum. Trump has been successful in some of his more fantastical legal challenges, such as claiming relief on debt because the housing crash was an “act of God,” as well as suing the bank to whom he owed the lost real estate money for his lost reputation due to the bank saying to the press “Trump is no stranger to debt.”
But these are just personal attacks of how Donald Trump has maintained the reputation that he has and for which he is unapologetic. It is Trump’s outspoken nature and willingness to make bold assertions in his favor that has won him business and political allies alike.
[Images by Darren McCollester, Sean Rayford, Jason Kempin / Getty Images]