The Weirdest Coalition Ever Seen

Donald Trump speaks in Reno, Nev. (photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Donald Trump speaks in Reno, Nev. (photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new raft of polls is showing Donald Trump is set to win up and down the Eastern seaboard, even as the latest national poll has him at 40 percent, just 5 points ahead of Ted Cruz.

Trump swept a solid South. He now appears ready to sweep a solid Northeast. Who would have imagined the same man would unite these two regions of the country?

This has to be one of the weirdest coalitions ever assembled.

Politico has a very interesting essay about what it is calling a feud between GOP intellectuals and the Party’s base. Trump is actually confusing and papering over the more important divide, between the GOP political and business class and the broad mass of social conservative GOP voters.

But Trump is also exposing the key problem the Republicans have had over several presidential election years: the standard GOP economic message doesn’t move voters:

Mainstream conservative think tank positions on free trade, U.S.-led internationalism, lower personal income tax rates, Social Security reform and immigration regularization simply do not appear to speak to today’s high-anxiety voters.

Declaring a trade war on China is economic suicide. But for voters looking for answers, Trump’s message is more appealing than a bland and generic anti-tax and regulation message.

Frank Cannon said after 2012 that this would be the hardest lesson for GOP leaders to learn from Romney’s defeat. Will Trump teach them this lesson?

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe.