On June 16th, Donald J. Trump officially submitted his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election in the United States, vying for the GOP nomination (i.e. Republican Party). Since then, his campaign has elicited vast coverage from the media, which has driven his rise in the polls and resulted in a copious amount of popular support from the public. Since the end of July, he has continuously and comprehensively led the GOP’s public-opinion polls, which are used as a determinate for who will receive the Republican party’s nomination in the primaries, as further referenced by Wikipedia.
Trump, a 69-year-old Penn alumnus from Queens with a salary of $250 million and a net worth of $4 billion (Forbes 2015), is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and has been involved in business for nearly five decades. He is a Presbyterian who has had five children with three different women and his campaign approach thus far has been solely based on entertainment through audacious behavior, which has created a massive divide in the public opinion of Trump.
Trump formerly belonged to the Democratic, Reform, and Independent parties, but has identified with the Republican party since 2012. His “business career, branding efforts, audacious lifestyle, and outspoken manner has helped to make him a celebrity” as stated by Wikipedia and these factors have undoubtedly contributed to his meteoric rise in the GOP polls as well.
In recent interviews with various news outlets, Donald Trump has stated that he would possibly drop out of the presidential race and return to his role as a businessman amidst a storm of bad publicity following his recent controversies should his polling convey that he will eventually lose the race. Trump considered the notion of an early exit in an interview with the New York Times and proposed the GOP campaign would sustain a “major collapse”, furthering a “depression” for the television industry as a result of the race becoming “too boring to even watch.”
In spite of all these doubts, Trump insists that he will not leave the race and retains a lead in the majority of national and state polls. He has confirmed his confidence in the polling process by stating his belief in the accuracy of “the predictive nature of presidential candidate polling” to the Huffington Post. Currently, Donald Trump is leading in GOP primary surveys with 25.6% of the vote, but these polls are not always an accurate indicator of a candidate’s chances this early in the race.
As stated by The Atlantic, Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy is “premised on one fact above all” and that is his outlandish success as a businessman. Trump’s comments about minorities accompanied with his unapologetic attitude have not only damaged his chances of becoming president, but also the value of his “brand and personal reputation.”