Donald Trump, rally, Phoenix
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally. Photo credit: Illustration by WhoWhatWhy from Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) and LoggaWiggler / Pixabay.

It’s mystifying that anybody could be surprised by a new Iowa poll showing Donald Trump expanding his commanding lead in the state.

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A new poll from Iowa has the political class in a tizzy. It shows that, even after some candidates have dropped out, Donald Trump has extended his lead in Iowa and seems certain to win the caucuses next month. The only thing baffling about this poll is that anyone could possibly be surprised by it. 

According to the Des Moines Register poll, Trump is now attracting the support of the majority of Republicans — 51 percent. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are trailing far behind at 19 percent and 16 percent respectively. While the pollster suggested that there could still be “movement” ahead of the caucuses, half of all Republicans have said they will not change their minds. 

And, guess what. We’d be willing to wager that those Republicans who maintain an “open mind” are probably not Trump supporters who have stuck with him up till now. 

Think about it. What could possibly happen that would get a Trump voter to abandon him now? At this point, it is beyond clear that Republican voters will follow Trump anywhere… including off a cliff. Back when pundits were still pretending that there was a possibility of a competitive GOP primary, we were already pointing out how totally ridiculous that notion was. 

We write a lot about how the GOP has become a cult with Trump at the helm. That cult, with the help of a massive right-wing propaganda apparatus, has created a false reality for millions of people. And that reality is centered on Trump as a near-messianic, infallible figure. That’s not somebody you can replace, and it’s absurd to pretend that the former president’s spell over the GOP base would somehow disappear after Republicans stuck with him through countless scandals, two impeachments, that coup, multiple indictments, and a stunning lack of accomplishments while in office.

Nothing of what we wrote all those months ago has changed. If anything, as the new Iowa poll shows, Trump’s support is even more entrenched. 

In addition, when the rest of the media pretends that this is a normal primary, they never talk about what would happen if one of the former president’s rivals actually did come close to stealing a state. If that were to happen, Trump and his backers would go full scorched-earth on whoever that rival is and anyone who supports them. 

It’s high time that the media come to terms with the fact that Trump is not a normal candidate but a severely mentally ill individual who will stop at nothing to return to power. Treating him as anything other than that is a mistake the media has been making for eight years now… to the country’s detriment (and their own profit). 

As a result, it doesn’t matter what happens before the former president secures the GOP nomination but rather how he is treated afterward. The fate of the republic depends on it.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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