When Donald Trump initially announced his candidacy for president, some disregarded his campaign as a joke or ploy for attention, but his supporters have rallied to push him through the ongoing primaries and their numbers are growing as the Republican National Convention grows closer.
While his popularity has stunned both Democrats and Republicans, his supporters have explained that its nearly infectious.
"I told him I was going to vote for him and he said, 'You better,’” Wendy Taylor told The Huffington Post, recalling an interaction at a rally in Macon, Georgia, in November 2015. "He pointed at me and gave me a thumbs up.”
Taylor supported Trump in the recent primaries and she says speculation about his platforms and competence as a political leader hasn’t diminished her desire to rally for Trump.
"I get more Trumped up as it goes along," she said. "He flies in with his jet, he's meeting everybody -- it's just powerful. We are blessed to have him running for the presidency. He's a gift from God. No, he's not perfect, but what politician is?”
Trump’s supporters generally distrust both the Republican establishment and the media, which Taylor cited as part of why she wasn’t concerned about Trump’s recent failure to denounce the KKK, although he did so later on Twitter. Taylor believes the media is “lying about [Trump].”
Simply put, voters who don’t trust the establishment or the media are reliant on the candidates and Trump oozes persuasive, bombastic charisma.
“[Voters are] responding to dynamism, to force, to movement, to smiling, to facial expressions that convey authority,” Stanford psychologist Jeffrey Pfeffer told The Washington Post. Trump "does it with more force. He does it with more energy. Energy is contagious.”
Still, Trump hasn’t won over every conservative -- his image as an unconventional candidate has alienated some voters who are cautious about whether or not his stances lean right.
"I'm gonna vote for Cruz. I'm not gonna vote for Trump,” Randy Cannady of Metter, Georgia, told The Huffington Post. "He's more like me, the way I think. I'm a conservative and he's more like me. Trump's not."