Carter Page is in hot water and it’s about to boil it would seem. This is a man I wrote on and warned about long ago. Trump’s team is claiming he was never connected to them, but that just isn’t true. He was an adviser to the Trump campaign early on. To be fair, Trump cut the guy off early on as well. And it would seem with good reason. It turns out the FBI did have a FISA warrant against Page. Why? Because he was approached in 2013 by the Russians to spy for them. He claims he turned them down… but he did meet with them. Please note that Page has not been charged with any crime, which indicates to me that they have nothing on him or he would have already been behind bars.
The FBI still strongly suspects that Page was acting as an agent for the Russians. I do too, just for the record. Page is heavy into investments in Russia… especially oil and gas. If I had to guess, I would bet he approached an intermediary for Trump’s team to ‘help’ them out. I also seriously suspect that Paul Manafort, who took millions every year from the Russians, was also compromised. This doesn’t make President Trump guilty of collusion with the Russians, but it does show his camp was vulnerable to penetration by the Russkies. I think it is pretty evident that Trump is not in bed with the Russians… but the Russians were definitely trying to crawl between the sheets with him.
From The Daily Caller:
The FBI gained approval from a secret federal court last summer to conduct communications surveillance against Carter Page, a former adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, The Washington Post is reporting.
The revelation confirms for the first time that a federal surveillance warrant, known as a FISA warrant, was issued for a member of the Trump campaign as part of a federal investigation of potential ties between the Republican’s associates and the Russian government.
In the application for the warrant, federal officials laid out what they said was evidence that there was probable cause showing that Page was acting as an agent of the Russian government, officials told The Post.
That evidence included contacts in 2013 with Russian spies who tried to recruit Page in New York City. The details of that recruitment attempt were laid out in a sealed FBI complaint filed in Jan. 2015. BuzzFeed News published the complaint earlier this month. Page denied that he was successfully recruited or that he shared any sensitive information with the agents.
I have written for years that you cannot trust the Russians. Just because we moronically cut back on our spies, it doesn’t mean they did. In fact, they have stepped up their intelligence. Individuals like Carter Page who have financial ties to Russia are prime candidates to be flipped to become spies for the Kremlin. Federal officials cited other contacts between Page and Russian operatives in the FISA application. Those contacts have not been made public… yet.
Page is an energy consultant who runs the Manhattan-based firm Global Energy Capital and he was brought on to the campaign in March as a foreign policy adviser. He served in a low-level role and is said to have never met Trump. The Democrats are trying to insinuate this means that Trump was doing the bidding of the Russians. I don’t believe so and there is no evidence of that. Page, whose offices are in a building adjacent to Trump Tower, drew national attention in July after he traveled to Moscow to give a speech at a university commencement ceremony. While in Moscow, Page met Arkady Dvorkovich, Russia’s deputy prime minister. Page officially left the Trump campaign in September.
Page is the only one who was actually surveilled it would seem. There’s nothing on Paul Manafort, Roger Stone or Michael Flynn. All of these men have had iffy contacts with the Russians at one point or another. All of them have been paid by the Russians as well. That doesn’t mean much… all have been under scrutiny and more will come out on them. Page is denying all wrong doing and says he will be proven innocent of connections to Putin. He cites false information on him in that cooked up dossier on Trump. We’ll see. The truth will eventually come out and this doesn’t make the Trump administration look good. But there has been no charges of wrong doing so far. Innocent until proven guilty… the media should remember that. And guilt by association won’t hold up here.
UPDATE:The Daily Caller is now reporting that Corey Lewandowski was the one who introduced Carter Page to President Trump, which I find very interesting because I heard him myself on Fox News when he claimed that he had never met Page and he’d never been part of Trump’s campaign. Obviously, that was a fib. Lewandowski told The Daily Caller he did not remember ever meeting Page. Right. “I’ve never met or spoken to Carter Page in my life,” Lewandowski insisted during a Fox News interview with Jeanine Pirro last month. “I was on the campaign for 18 months, I never met the guy, and for anybody to say otherwise is factually inaccurate. I don’t know who Carter Page is, I never had a conversation with Carter Page, I never met Carter Page, and anybody who says otherwise is not being truthful,” insisted Lewandowski, who was fired from the campaign on June 20th.
Sources are saying that Lewandowski introduced Page to Trump campaign policy director Sam Clovis sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. During the brief encounter, which occurred in New York City, Lewandowski suggested that the two get to know each other. Page, the managing partner of Global Energy Partners, an energy consulting firm, would join the campaign as an adviser several months later. They are reporting that Clovis brought Page onto the campaign team. Lewandowski has had at least one other documented interaction with Page. He was the campaign official who gave final approval to Page’s visit to Moscow.
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Hat Tip: Renee Nal – New Zeal
If anyone dares to tell me they are shocked by this, I may have to trout smack them into oblivion. Just sayin’.
Donald Trump’s #1 guy, Paul Manafort seems to have got caught with his paw in the Russian till. Secret ledgers have been discovered that show him receiving millions of bucks from the Russkies. Wonder if corruption was a prerequisite for being Trump’s campaign manager?
I would have sworn that Lewandowski was a plant for Trump, but this wasn’t very Trumpesque. Unless of course the point was to get back at Manafort and create an opening so he could return to the fold and give Paul the boot. Who knows?
Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials…
Anti-corruption officials there say the payments earmarked for Mr. Manafort, previously unreported, are a focus of their investigation, though they have yet to determine if he actually received the cash. While Mr. Manafort is not a target in the separate inquiry of offshore activities, prosecutors say he must have realized the implications of his financial dealings.
Gee, Manafort denied that any of this happened. Imagine that. Looks like he lied… so not surprised. It also appears that he was not only taking legitimate payments from political parties in the Ukraine, he was getting paid under the table clandestinely. One wonders why Manafort would be getting paid off the books… exactly what did he do to warrant this secretive payment of funds?
He came unglued over The New York Times exposing his income streams: “I have never received a single ‘off-the-books cash payment’ as falsely ‘reported’ by The New York Times, nor have I ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia.” Right. I have seen far more than enough evidence to know that denial is utter bullcrap. This guy is a political consultant and a lobbyist. He’s parsing his words there. Notice how he chose them carefully… that doesn’t mean he didn’t work for an oligarch or a political party… or even Putin himself. It means he didn’t ‘directly’ work for one of those governments. Words matter, especially when dealing with sleazy shadowy political figures.
As previously noted at National Review:
Manafort’s friends describe his relationship with Yanukovych as a political love connection, born out of Yanukovych’s first downfall when he was driven from power by the 2004 Orange Revolution. Feeling that his domestic political advisers had failed him, Yanukovych turned to a foreign company, Davis Manafort, which was already doing work for the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. The former Ukrainian PM and Manafort, the Georgetown-educated son of a Connecticut politician, hit it off.
Manafort’s firm had a set of international clients and produced an analysis of the Orange Revolution that Yanukovych found instructive, according to one operative involved in Yanukovych’s political rehabilitation. Manafort became, in effect, a general consultant to Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, shaping big-picture messaging, coaching Yanukovych to speak in punchy, American-style sound bites and managing teams of consultants and attorneys in both Ukraine and the United States ahead of an anticipated Yanukovych comeback. While it’s difficult to track payments in foreign elections, a former associate familiar with Manafort’s earnings say they ran into the seven figures over several years.
After Yanukovych’s 2010 victory, Manafort stayed on as an adviser to the Russia-friendly president and became involved in other business projects in Eastern Europe.
Russian-friendly doesn’t quite get it here. It went much deeper than that and I’m sure that Manafort was well aware of that fact. Manafort claims: “My work in Ukraine ceased following the country’s parliamentary elections in October 2014.” Well duh. Yanukovych was overthrown and that tends to put a damper on your corrupt connections. In February 2014, Yanukovych was whisked away by Russian special forces to a safe haven in Russia. And I sincerely believe the relationship with Manafort did not end there.
Criminal prosecutors are also looking into a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles, including a palatial presidential residence with a private zoo, golf course and tennis court. Among the hundreds of murky transactions these companies engaged in was an $18 million deal to sell Ukrainian cable television assets to a partnership put together by Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin. Very, very interesting.
As for Manafort saying that he quit working for Yanukovych in 2014, I find it curious that he had an office in Kiev until May of this year with furniture and personal items that were still there. Tie to that the documents just uncovered that suggest he was involved in looting Ukrainian assets and influencing elections and Manafort starts to look like a thug, if not an asset for the Russians.
The US has always viewed Russia as a threat and an enemy. Especially during the Reagan Administration. And they still should be viewed as such. But during the Republican Convention this year, things went sideways in an alarming way. Donald Trump and Paul Manafort did not oppose anything in the GOP plank… except for one item. They changed the platform to not call for arming the Ukrainians against the Russians. What does that tell you? Does it speak of Russian interests when the one thing that Trump focused on was a plank that supports the Russians directly? Hmmm? His campaign manager worked for those against the Ukraine and for Russia. Gee… usually the answer is the most obvious one and that one puts Trump and Manafort squarely in Putin’s camp. Since the convention there have been statements by Trump saying that he actually favors Russia annexing Crimea.
The Ukrainians are bluntly stating that Manafort had to know of the corruption. I’m sure he did… in fact, I’m certain he was in the middle of it waist deep. More and more of this will be uncovered as time goes by trust me. Manafort has his attorneys aggressively denying any of this, but it looks to me like they have found concrete proof of corruption.
I’m just wondering if Trump approached Manafort, or did Manafort approach Trump? That’s important. Manafort’s biggest clients have been Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Yanukovych… both deposed in popular uprisings. Exactly what does that tell you about Donald Trump?
What has surfaced now is the “black ledger.” Basically a book that has about 400 pages of scribbled entries that are combined from books once kept at the Party of Regions headquarters in Kiev. In that headquarters were two safes that were stuffed with $100 bills, said Taras V. Chornovil, a former party leader who was also a recipient of the money at times. He said in an interview that he had once received $10,000 in a “wad of cash” for a trip to Europe.
“This was our cash,” he said, adding that he had left the party in part over concerns about off-the-books activity. “They had it on the table, stacks of money, and they had lists of who to pay.”
Manafort’s name appeared 22 times in those documents over a five year period. He allegedly received $12.7 million in payments. Since the entries are pretty much chicken scratch, there is no way to tie them to a bank. He covered his tracks very well. There’s also no way to know what he did to earn that money. Not yet anyway. These accounting records just surfaced this year. Bad timing for Manafort.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau, whose government funding is mandated under American and European Union aid programs and which has an evidence-sharing agreement with the FBI, has investigatory powers, but cannot indict suspects. No documents have been sent to prosecutors on Manafort, so he’s not part of a criminal case just yet. Make no mistake… this is corruption and that money is dirty.
Manafort also benefited and profited from business deals and connections through political consulting. One of those involved a network of offshore companies that government investigators and independent journalists in the Ukraine have said was used to launder public money and assets purportedly stolen by cronies of the government. These shell companies had owners who were shielded by the secrecy laws of the offshore jurisdictions where they were registered, including the British Virgin Islands, Belize and the Seychelles.
Manafort is tied to a now defunct investment fund called Pericles Emerging Markets. He started the fund with several partners back in 2007. Here’s the kicker. The major backer was Deripaska, a Russian mogul who has supposed ties to organized crime… the Russian mob. See where this is going?
Deripaska agreed to commit as much as $100 million to Pericles, so it could buy assets in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe, including a regional cable television and communications company called Black Sea Cable. But corporate records and court filings show that it was hardly a straightforward transaction. The Black Sea Cable assets were controlled by offshore companies that led back to the Yanukovych network, including, at various times, Milltown Corporate Services and two other companies well known to law enforcement officials, Monohold A.G. and Intrahold A.G.
From The New York Times:
Mr. Deripaska would later say he invested $18.9 million in Pericles in 2008 to complete the acquisition of Black Sea Cable. But the planned purchase — including the question of who ended up with the Black Sea assets — has since become the subject of a dispute between Mr. Deripaska and Mr. Manafort.
In 2014, Mr. Deripaska filed a legal action in a Cayman Islands court seeking to recover his investment in Pericles, which is now defunct. He also said he had paid about $7.3 million in management fees to the fund over two years. Mr. Deripaska did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Manafort’s lawyer, Mr. Hibey, disputed the account of the Black Sea Cable deal contained in Mr. Deripaska’s Cayman filings, and said the Russian oligarch had overseen details of the final transaction involving the acquisition. He denied that Mr. Manafort had received management fees from Pericles during its operation, but said that one of Mr. Manafort’s partners, Rick Gates, who is also working on the Trump campaign, had received a “nominal” sum.
Court papers indicate that Pericles’ only deal involved Black Sea Cable.
Manafort has not dissolved his company in the Ukraine and his aids have been there this year. Does that sound like he is not involved with the Russians anymore? Nyet.
There is far too much Russian influence around Donald Trump and Paul Manafort is the most prominent one and closest to him. His actions speak of a close relationship with Russian interests no matter what they claim. Does it matter if Manafort took dirty money from the Russians? Hell yeah, it does. And does it matter who Trump surrounds himself with? Even more so.
Either Donald Trump is the most incompetent politician I have ever seen, or he is throwing this election. Yesterday started off badly for the Trump campaign and got progressively worse.
Trump’s strategy and tactics during this election have made absolutely no sense. In the primaries, as he swept from state to state winning, he let his people go. He left virtually no one on the ground to fight in the main showdown between Trump and Clinton. He used people to win delegates and then discarded them. His campaign staff is down to approximately 30 people and several of those are family members – those family members are all Democrats and have heavily supported Dems in previous elections. He has 1/10th the staff that Clinton has. Compare that to Clinton who has around 400 staff members working for her. He has just over $1 million in the bank, compared to Hillary Clinton, who currently has over $43 million to use and her accounts are growing. Trump does not have staffed teams working on communications, data, rapid response or his ground game.
Hillary Clinton and her allies have reserved roughly $117 million in ad time between now and Election Day, including more than $20 million in key swing states over the next few weeks alone. The Trump figure for that same period is $0. In fact, Trump has announced he will not go after Clinton until after the convention is held. A pro-Trump super PAC announced a $700,000 buy, but not only is that a drop in the bucket, it isn’t directly from Trump. Self-funding? Any funding would be an improvement.
Until yesterday, we didn’t know how much Trump had raised. But yesterday was an FEC filing deadline. Hillary Clinton raised $28 million in May. Trump raised $3 million and loaned his campaign another $2 million, ending the month with a little over $1 million in the bank. This is not how you run a campaign for the presidency. He can’t possibly pull off a win this way and I believe he knows it. Did you know that Ben Carson’s campaign has more cash on hand than Trump’s right now? I’m not kidding. Ted Cruz has six times more cash on hand right now than Donald Trump and Cruz dropped out at the beginning of May. We are less than five months from election day and Trump hasn’t even approached the starting line, much less started running. Hillary is already picking out drapes for the White House.
Aside from the lack of money, the turmoil within the Trump campaign is a full fledged dumpster fire. Last month, Donald Trump fired his national political director of just a few weeks. Today, less than a month before the Republican convention kicks off, he cut loose campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Then he gets rid of another top aid for putting out a tweet later in the day. Word has it that bedlam reigns in the Trump camp. Lewandowski should have been fired long ago, but others on Trump’s team are just about as bad. Rumor has it those that were loyal to Corey are on the chopping block. Pretty soon there won’t be anyone left.
My favorite tweet out there on this comes from Michelle Fields:
And Ben Shapiro nailed it:
Here’s a chart that is truly sobering:
Trump is losing ground, not gaining out there. All the propaganda and conned masses in the world can’t change the fact that everywhere you look, Trump is despised and not wanted as president.
Pro-Clinton Priorities USA just released their best fundraising month numbers yet. They collected more than $12 million. So far, they have collected $88.7 million, with another $45 million in pledges. “The organized and well-funded push for Clinton contrasts sharply with the chaos that surrounds the groups supporting Trump,” reports Matea Gold. “At least five super PACs are in the mix, creating confusion among donors unsure where to put their money.” There is little data available from most of the groups, but “one of the first groups on the scene, Great America PAC, has raised just $3.5 million since forming in February.
“The super PAC rolled out a new ad Monday spotlighting the massacre in Orlando and featuring a former Navy SEAL who touts Trump as ‘willing to make tough choices to protect America.’ The spot is part of a $700,000 TV campaign set to air nationally and in key states over the next several weeks.”
Here’s the ad:
It’s an impressive ad, but the majority of the military does not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In fact, Trump has at least twice made statements about military members stealing money from Iraq and his fundraising for vets has not released all the funds for them yet. I personally don’t consider him a friend of military personnel and I know many who feel the same way.
Not only is Trump running a flailing, losing campaign… he has his kids handling it and he is also not taking direction or advice from anyone.
Trump has been a Democrat most of his life. Suddenly, he donned Republican garb and went out among the sheep who flocked to his propaganda and lies. He must laugh himself silly that people are sooo very gullible. They are actually desperate… people will do anything to keep Hillary out of office and after losing so long under the incompetent Republican powers-that-be, they just want to win again. But what if the pied piper that says he will lead them to victory is just Hillary in drag? Or worse yet, a plant to ensure that Hillary Clinton becomes president? If that were the case, would Trump be doing anything different than he is now?
Look at who is currently helping him. Ivanka Trump is a Democrat as is her husband Jared Kushner. Jared is Jewish and Ivanka has converted to Judaism. Trump has used him as a prop to win over the Jewish community. But remember, Trump talks of a two-state solution and withdrawing support for Israel. It’s all sleight of hand and pandering.
Kushner contributed more than $100,000 to Democratic campaigns and committees over two decades. Considering his fortune, that’s not so much, but he is a supporter of liberal, Democratic candidates. And he is the man running Trump’s campaign now. His father is also a wealthy real estate tycoon who was sent to prison for witness tampering… by Chris Christie. Dear old dad was known for mafia-like tactics, so he has a lot in common with Trump.
It is widely believed that Jared and Ivanka were the ones behind the abrupt firing of Lewandowski. From what I hear, Trump didn’t even go see the guy… he called him and then he was led out of Trump Tower by a couple of security guards. It’s pretty clear who is calling the shots now and it’s all in the family.
Both Jared and Ivanka were supporters of Barack Obama and his policies, with a special emphasis on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform. Tell me how that jives with Trump’s stance on the issue? It is one more indicator to me that he will not keep his word on that subject. He’ll negotiate and shift.
Kushner contributed $2,000 to Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign for U.S. Senate in New York and later contributed $4,000 to the committee supporting then-Sen. Clinton in 2003. Recipients of Kushner’s contributions also include Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), both of whom were members of the so-called Gang of Eight pushing for congressional legislation on immigration reform in 2013.
Kushner has also contributed to the campaigns of Democratic lawmakers who cheered Obama for granting temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. He has donated to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), both of whom celebrated the controversial executive order as encouraging, productive and necessary.
The lone Republican recipient of Kushner’s money was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Kushner contributed $1,000 to an exploratory committee for Giuliani’s U.S. Senate bid in 1999, FEC records show.
Trump has himself contributed to Democratic committees in the past, including committees associated with Clinton, Menendez, Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Trump also donated to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which he has said drew the Clintons to his 2005 wedding. The business mogul only ramped up his donations to Republican groups and candidates in the last five years, while he was preparing to run on the Republican ticket and hoodwink the entire party.
Kushner made the contributions under a number of different companies that are associated with Kushner Companies, where Jared works as chief executive. The real estate and development company was started by Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, who is a multimillionaire Democratic donor. Charles Kushner was sentenced in New Jersey federal court to two years in prison for tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations in 2005. The FEC also fined Kushner over $500,000 for making the illegal campaign donations. He’s out now and is being low-profile, but his son is very prominent… especially now in the Trump campaign.
Ivanka contributed $16,500 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 midterms when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was fighting Republicans. She contributed $7,500 to Harry Reid’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that same midterm election year. Ivanka also gave $8,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2008 during a presidential election year.
She has also contributed $4,000 to California’s far-left Attorney General Kamala Harris; $17,500 New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo; the Democrats’ National Leadership PAC in 2006 and 2008 – an organization associated with the “Act Blue” 527 organization during years that Democrats were fighting against Republicans; and $7,700 to far-left Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a pro-abortion feminist who supports protecting LGBT community members from illegal immigration deportations.
Other Democrats that Ivanka Trump contributed to are: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ($2,000); Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate and president ($3,400); the Democrats’ scandalous Eliot Spitzer for governor ($3,000); liberal Congressman Charlie Rangel; California’s liberal Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom ($500); democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer ($4,500) in 2014; and Democrat Sen. Cory Booker as recently as 2014 ($20,400).
It appears that out of more than 30 campaign contributions, Ivanka only contributed to three Republican campaigns – John McCain, Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan for president ($75,000) and Carly Fiorina. Her contributions to Republicans represents less than 10 percent of her contributions – the rest have been to Democrats.
So, we have a candidate with a Democratic history and his children who are ostensibly running his campaign and have a Democratic history. We have a team that is imploding and what few that are on staff are being fired. Trump has spent the past few weeks doing almost everything you would do if you were trying to throw an election, from attacking a federal judge over his Mexican heritage to not building a serious ground game or actively raising the money necessary to wage a credible campaign for the presidency. He’s not savaging Clinton as you would expect him to and he is not making nice with the GOP or the delegates.
Instead, he has masterfully used propaganda through Fox News, the Drudge Report, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit and others to get his message out. Whenever things die down a bit, he creates a new emergency so he can be in the headlines again. He aims his messages and speeches at his audience depending on the crowd he speaks in front of and how they feel that day.
Trump is already blaming people for stealing the convention from him:
Trump says if offered $5 billion to drop out, “I guess we’d have to think about it.” And while he keeps all that up, a delegate revolt is indeed brewing at the convention. The GOP may just decide in the end to risk a revolt and go with someone else more stable and presidential. Someone more ‘Republican’. 48% of Republicans now want a different nominee.
Trump is also quickly becoming a massive joke:
For all the world it looks to me as if Trump is looking for an exit or is simply going to ‘lose’ to Hillary and then blame others for it, while enriching himself once again and maybe getting a news network or something out of the deal. Clinton is leading Trump even with all her scandals and the fact that everyone hates her to pieces. Trump should write a new book: The Art of Losing. It would be a best seller after this fiasco.
Things are not going well over at Breitbart these days. It all started at a Trump rally where Michelle Fields, a Breitbart reporter, tried to interview Donald Trump. Suddenly, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbed her arm forcefully and yanked her away from Trump. Minutes later, bruises would form on her arm.
Laura Kamienski, a Republican Party caucus precinct representative for Hiawatha District in Cedar Rapids … said she expects a surprise in the caucus this cycle similar to former Sen. Rick Santorum’s unexpected win in 2012. Mr. Santorum is back in the 2016 Republican race but is polling near the bottom of the crowded field in Iowa and nationally.
…Pollsters defended their survey methods and stood by their numbers. But some credited Mr. Trump’s dominance in polls to his near-universal name recognition as star of the hit TV shows “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski dismissed any doubt about the poll numbers. He said it was coming from the same “political pundits who have been wrong every step of the way” about Mr. Trump’s candidacy, including predicting he would fade after the summer… He also noted that they had hired the Iowa organizer from Mr. Santrorum’s 2012 campaign, Chuck Laudner, who is considered one of the most formidable grass-roots organizers and get-out-the-vote strategists in the state.
At the time, Trump and Carson were dominating the polls in Iowa. As it turned out, Kamienski — who pointed out that she had seen no real evidence of large-scale Trump support — astutely predicted a surprise in February. That turned out to be case as Ted Cruz walked away the victor by a significant margin.
The critical question that Miller and others have raised is the possibility that some poll respondents choose Trump based not upon policy positions but because they recognize his name.
In my non-scientific discussions with various registered voters, I have discovered a rather significant percentage who are unfamiliar with the name of any GOP candidate, except for that of Donald Trump.
Mention Trump’s name, however, and you see faces light up. The recognition and the reality show association is immediate. Quite a few are able to parrot Trump’s (in)famous quote from The Apprentice — “You’re fired!” — but know little else of the candidate’s background or political preferences.
Of course, many Trump advocates are quite familiar with the candidate and are certainly energized to vote. A Trump advocate observed after a November speech by the GOP frontrunner that many of the attendees “are not simply gawkers or fans of his TV shows.”
I suspect that many of these people are frustrated with the additional burdens and strife that Obama and the federal government have inflicted upon them; they are turning out as a result of Trump’s fame and the role he portrayed on his reality television show.
The term “low-information voter” may be too harsh, but I suspect that many Trump supporters feel the increased problems weighing them down but they can’t exactly identify the cause nor the origin of their problems.
They are not aware of imminent crises here and abroad, but they have then taken Trump’s reality show role and are applying it to the real world. They then conclude in their own minds that whatever the reason for the problems, Donald has always been successful dealing with it on TV and they extend that notion to Donald being the answer in present world circumstances.
These folks have stayed glued to the television for so long that they are convinced that the Donald is the solution to their problems. They have, however, come to the realization that they cannot change the channel.
With that said, it is also likely that many poll respondents who offer Trump as their preferred candidate do so only because they recognize his name.
This could provide insight into Trump’s inability to meet the pollsters’ predictions in Iowa and it could portend further disappointment for the billionaire real estate investor.