Donald Trump is resonating with Republican voters, and as President Barack Obama's direct opposite, he stands to "pull off a hostile takeover of the Grand Old Party," Democratic strategist David Axelrod says in an opinion piece for The New York Times
"Relentlessly edgy, confrontational, and contemptuous of the niceties of governance and policy making, Mr. Trump is the perfect counterpoint to a president whose preternatural cool and deliberate nature drives his critics mad," Axelrod, a former top advisor of Obama's, wrote.
Axelrod said Trump may end up stumbling if Americans become tired of his actions, but still, the GOP base is "infuriated by Mr. Obama's activist view of government and progressive initiatives, from health care reform and immigration, gay rights to climate change."
And Obama's deliberation is seen as hesitancy, while his patience is seen as weakness, Axelrod continued.
"His call for tolerance and passionate embrace of America's growing diversity inflame many in the Republican base, who view with suspicion and anger the rapidly changing demographics of America," said Axelrod. "The president's emphasis on diplomacy is viewed as appeasement."
Axelrod added that Trump may "stumble" if Americans start to tire of his outspokenness and stay away from the polls, but admitted that he has defied all expectations "as the most ardent and conspicuous counterpoint to the man in the White House today...so, in the parlance of one of his signature businesses, 'who wants to bet?'"
Trump, unlike Obama in the 2008 race, does face a "steep uphill battle" in the general election if he pulls out the nomination, said Axelrod. Trump has the lowest polling numbers among Democrats, independents, and has angered Hispanics with his stances on deportation and other topics, while Obama held a more universal appeal.
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