Donald Trump’s surprising ability to maintain his lead in the Republican primary polls has dominated media coverage on a near-daily basis since the real estate mogul announced his candidacy. Even if Trump cannot sustain the unexpected amount of support he’s received in such a relatively short amount of time through next November, his presence in the race has already transformed the way the Republican Party operates. He no longer seems like a fringe candidate. Neither does Ben Carson, who’s currently trailing Trump in second with 12.5 percent. Jeb Bush, once the Republican’s presumed nominee, has been pushed to third place with 9.5 percent. Even Carly Fiorina, another Washington establishment outsider, is polling in seventh with 5.8 percent. It's clear Republicans are unafraid to support candidates that would've seemed laughable in previous elections.
On the Democratic side, the consistent story has been that Hillary Clinton is the presumed nominee. Despite increased support for the populist progressive Bernie Sanders and protests from Martin O’Malley over the unfairness of Clinton’s perceived anointment, the former Secretary of State remains atop the Democratic primary polls. While the Republicans support Trump, Carson and Fiorina in order to express their distaste with the status quo in Washington, Democrats seem to be going all in on the one candidate that represents the political establishment more than anyone. According to Real Clear Politics, Clinton is in the lead with 49.2 percent. Sanders has 25 percent. Especially for the party that's supposed to be pushing things forward, these statistics do not make sense.
If the Democrats were smart, they would view Trump’s popularity as a chance to rally behind a candidate like Bernie Sanders. The general consensus when Trump launched his campaign was that he would never secure the nomination. The same was true about Bernie Sanders. 2016's election seemed set up to be a contest between another Clinton and another Bush, a continuation of our nation's undeniably oligarchic rule. Yet voters have enthusiastically latched onto Trump’s message, much of which involves getting money out of politics and shaking things up in Washington. Sanders’s message is much different, but it still involves fighting against the establishment, money-fueled politics that Clinton represents. Trump is proof that outsiders with wild ideas can feasibly win the election. There's no reason to count anyone out. Now it's time to support a more sensible candidate.
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