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Latest 2016 Presidential Polls, Mainstream Media, and Digital Tsunami

12/12/2015  articles

Why Poll Numbers Count, Trump Leads, Security Tops Voter Concerns

Reuters Polling for December 11 ranks billionaire businessman Donald Trump, 35.4%; Retired surgeon and author Ben Carson at 12.0%; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 10.5%; Tex. Sen. Ted Cruz at 9.7%

Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor and scion of the presidential Bush family, embarrassingly trails the pack at 8%.

Wesley Pruden, editor in-chief emeritus of The Washington Times, comments: “The Republican elites sound like the man who was so beset by troubles and misery that he hitchhiked to New York because there wasn’t a building in his hometown tall enough to jump from.

“The elites have tried insult, argument, persuasion and begging, but nothing has persuaded Donald Trump to go away. The more the elites belittle, tease and taunt, the higher he flies in the public opinion polls.

The Donald clearly enjoys playing the elites, like a cat toying with a mouse. He knows how to manipulate their fears of an independent candidacy. Like Rodney Dangerfield, “he don’t get no respect.” The odds strongly suggest that he can’t win the nomination, but some of the professionals with a history of mismanaging campaigns are not any longer sure that he can’t.

Decisiveness and Competency are Issues that Matter Most to Voters

“In the recent Associated Press GfK poll 8 in 10 Republican voters, and 55 percent of all Americans called Trump decisive… he is seen as the most decisive candidate of either party – both by Republicans and by Americans at large. Decisiveness rankings of other candidates: Ted Cruz, 56%; Ben Carson, 53%; Marco Rubio, 52%,; Jeb Bush, 42%. Trump is not seen as compassionate or likeable. 6 in 10 surveyed rate compassion as important and only half say it is important for a candidate to be likeable. Associated Press, Steve Peoples and Emily Swanson, Poll: ‘Decisiveness key for Trump vote’.

Trump has stayed at the front of the Republican pack with a brash approach that has captivated a healthy slice of the GOP electorate. In the new national survey three-quarters of Republicans said he would have a chance of winning the national election if nominated, significantly more than said so of any other GOP candidate. Just mention the 2016 presidential election and the name Donald Trump becomes the hot topic.

Mainstream media vs. the alternative information ecosystem

In the past people believed in mainstream media. Things have changed with the internet. As Steve Smith, a veteran newspaper editor who teaches journalism at the University of Idaho said: ‘When you combine this digital tsunami with the loss of quality and quantity in American journalism over the years…journalists don’t have the ability to keep up once a false narrative gains speed.”

“More and more people are seeking their information from this ecosystem which consists of websites, talk-radio programs, newsletters, conferences, and ‘citizen journalists’ who promote, debate, and inflate questionable causes. The fringe often injects its ideas into the mainstream by gaining the attention of sources broadly popular among conservatives such as Fox News, Drudge Report, and Breitbart-com.

“Trump has been the most aggressive in denouncing the mainstream media, the erstwhile arbiter of fact…this has been echoed by his army of Twitter followers and supportive websites.” Washington Post, Dec. 12, Paul Farhi.

The Obama campaign and Sen. Bernie Sanders use the ecosystem extensively.

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