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ROBB AUSTIN'S TURN 

Republicans Turn to Billionaire Trump

April 26, 2011

Billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump is continuing to confound Washington insiders as he remains the leader in presidential preference polls among Republican voters.

Democrats are gleeful about this turn of events as they believe that keeping the focus on a candidate like Trump will make the remaining field of Republican candidates look weak.

The prevailing view inside the Beltway is that President Obama has a lock on re-election in 2012.

This reasoning is premature and is not representative of the profound uneasiness around the country regarding the current state of affairs. While President Obama didn’t create these problems, voters do hold him responsible for fixing them.

If the past two national elections have taught us anything about the electorate, it is that voters are looking for something different in their politicians.

President Obama was elected precisely for this reason in 2008. Voters overlooked his thin resume and real world experience. But they were impressed with his promise to change the ways of Washington, and voters wanted to give him a try.

The result hasn’t been favorable, and that’s why Republicans won in a landslide in 2010. He remains popular among Africa-American voters and the liberal establishment, but that is primarily based on the fact that those voters view him as being true to his liberal roots.

Republicans, conservative Democrats, and now Independents have a different view, and as such, his re-election is anything but assured.

The ascent of Donald Trump is largely based on the 2008 phenomenon that voters want someone different.

Trump’s support is strongest among Republicans, Independents, white men, and conservative Democrats. He also has an opportunity to tap into the youth vote; the under 30 set who like his leis fare attitude about politics, and his can-do entrepreneur spirit and success. Conservative women like Trump, too.

Many old time journalists are dismissing the Trump candidacy and don’t see what the rest of the country sees, and this is a mistake. Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer recently referred to him as a “clown” candidate; the “Al Sharpton” of the Republican Party.

He should not sell him short, if for no other reason, Trump is clearly hungry, and serious about winning.

Krauthammer and others like him do not realize that the political landscape has changed, and Republican voters care less about the politics of the past. They want a better quality of life, and that means finding someone who will fix our economic problems, and Trump seems like a good bet.

In November of 2010, I was asked by strategists’ for Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to provide a list of ‘pro and cons’ of a potential Barbour presidential candidacy (Governor Barbour decided yesterday against entering the Republican primary), and in part, I advised the following:

 “Governor Barbour is known as a compromiser .. who doesn’t necessarily rock the boat … this is a ‘pro’ and a ‘con’ … as 2012 will be a Tea Party style election … having a  political “edge” will help … political passion will be at a premium.”

This was my way of saying that the winning Republican candidate must be passionate and real, and embraces the politics of the Tea Party movement. This is exactly what voters like about the billionaire Trump.  He is real. He is out of the box. He is passionate.

Voters know that typical politicians, those who talk the Washington-talk, have been unable to solve our problems. They are looking for someone different.

Right now they are turning to billionaire Donald Trump.