Trump continues to lead early primary polls

Donald Trump remains in the GOP driver's seat a year from the election

) Lori Klein and Donald Trump alongside a colleague at the NRA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Courtesy of Lori Klein

) Lori Klein and Donald Trump alongside a colleague at the NRA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Savannah Vizzerra, News Editor

Always one for the headlines, businessman Donald Trump continues to lead in the primary election polls despite his opinionated stances on conservative issues.

Most of the nation is aware of Trump’s outspoken personality. On Sept. 12, Trump degraded his fellow presidential candidate Rand Paul when he tweeted, “I truly understood the appeal of Ron Paul, but his son didn’t get the right gene.”

Aside from this, Trump has slandered many members of the media. The real estate magnate has also denounced issues like immigration and U.S. government leadership on multiple occasions.

The 69-year-old was still dominating the polls. According to Iowa Caucus Polling Data, the current Republican Party front-runner has maintained an RCP polling average of 26.8 percent, the highest polling percentage among 14 other candidates. With the Iowa caucuses less than five months away, some have begun to seriously contemplate Trump’s credentials as the Republican Party’s nominee.

Arizona Republican State Senator Lori Klein couldn’t believe the news when she first learned that Trump would be running for president.

“I thought it was a joke,” she said. “Like many other people, I thought, ‘well, maybe he’s not serious, he’s a celebrity, he’s possibly doing this to build his ratings for his next venture.”

However, she quickly changed her mind on “the Donald” when she was able to meet him at a National Rifle Association  convention in Nashville. Talking tax reforms with Trump, an issue close to Klein’s heart, she shifted her stance from skeptic to believer.  

“He decided that this country is in trouble, that we are going off the financial cliff, we are doing really stupid things in regard to immigration and not really upholding what is in the best interest of America,” she said. “So I started listening to him, and when he didn’t bow out, didn’t implode and decided that he was really serious about running, I seriously looked at him as a candidate.”

Trump’s vision to make America great again has captivated people across the nation. This year’s first Republican debate notched more viewers than the Super Bowl – which is annually the most viewed show in television history.

“He’s saying what the American people have been thinking, but none of the politicians are saying,” Klein said. “He’s the only one who has the guts to speak the truth plainly about the dysfunctions that we have in this country between government and our individuals.”

Klein sees a strong leader and straight talker in Trump, and if the latest polls are any indication, plenty of Americans share her views.

Longtime Democratic advocate and fundraiser Jack August is not among them. August believes that it is Trump’s controversial character that is keeping him above the other candidates. He suspects that  Trump is catering to radical Republicans – only earning a vote out of extreme allegiance to the Republican Party.

“He’s seeking support from extremists of the party and he gets a lot of attention,” August said. “He’s a showman, kind of like a celebrity politician on the one hand.”

Foreign policy was discussed at length during the second GOP Debate hosted by CNN on Sept. 16. When Trump was questioned about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he suggested that President Barack Obama lacked “courage” since Obama didn’t take military action after the Assad government attacked Syrians.

“I don’t really know if he has a coherent platform yet on a variety of issues,” August said.

According to national political strategist Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, after the second debate Trump has a mere 13 percent chance at actually winning the nomination.  Yet, August still has never seen anything like the Trump phenomenon, and for at least a little while, it will continue to captivate the American public.

“I think he’s going to be in for a while, he’s certainly taking a lot of oxygen out of the room,” August said. “Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and (John) Kasich – who I think is a reasonable candidate– just can’t get any oxygen or air media time.”