By Paul Gable
The Donald Trump bandwagon rolled through Nevada last night on the way to Super Tuesday I with a convincing win in the Republican Party caucuses.
Trump captured 45.9% of the vote, nearly doubling the 23.9% that went to second place Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz again finished in third place with 21.4% while Ben Carson and John Kasich were in the low single digits.
With each victory, Trump demonstrates the strength of his candidacy and further worries the Republican Party establishment.
And the Republican Party establishment has a right to be worried since only 27% of nationwide voters identify themselves as Republicans in 2016 and over 50% of those voters say they are dissatisfied with their party in exit polls.
Marco Rubio appears to be the only so-called Republican establishment candidate left with a chance to beat Trump, but being the choice of the establishment doesn’t appear to be a plus this year.
After real voting began, the quick exit from the race by Jeb Bush, the establishment’s first choice, shows how little voters pay attention to the Republican National Committee and political endorsements.
American voters are disgusted with government, especially the federal government, and Trump is capitalizing on that disgust.
The federal government has demonstrated little fiscal discipline since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society legislation passed in the mid 1960’s. Our national debt is $19 trillion now. It was less than $1 trillion when Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.
Reagan swept into office in the 1980 election by proclaiming ‘government isn’t the solution to the problem, government is the problem.’ Of course, Reagan promised to reduce the deficit and balance the budget, neither of which he did.
Reagan connected with voters with his anti-government message. Trump is doing the same. Many won’t remember, but Reagan was not the choice of the Republican establishment before he became the party’s presidential candidate.
Many of the same voters who supported Reagan in 1980 are supporting Trump today. They were in their 30’s and 40’s then and are in their 60’s and 70’s now. They again believe, or maybe still believe, that something is very wrong in Washington.
Maybe that’s something the Republican establishment should think about.