A Bloomberg Politics focus group of 12 Republican and independent voters who are supportive of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy shed light Wednesday night on the billionaire's swift rise to the top of the GOP field, and confirmed that his brash, “You're fired!” style and lack of experience in politics is more of an asset than a liability.
“He says it like it is,” said Jessica, a data analyst, during the focus group in the first-in-the-nation primary state, conducted by Purple Strategies at St. Anselm College in Manchester. “He speaks the truth.”
He's willing to tell you his opinion,” Andrew, an educator, said. “So many other politicians won't take an opinion.”
Many said Trump's success in the business world appealed to them.
“Business, we need business and I like his roughness,” said Danielle, a financial-planning consultant, adding, “He's just tough, we need someone tough.”
“Donald Trump is strong,” Nick, a home inspector, said. “He carries a sentiment and frustrations that I think a lot of Americans are going through and feeling right now. He's the one that's able to articulate that, and bring those frustrations to light. I believe him when he talks.”
Of course Trump would be successful. He's a billionaire. Billionaires aren't stupid or lazy, otherwise they wouldn't be billionaires, now would they? He's as American as they come. Wealth is morality here.
Even as the group praised Trump's directness, some worried it could be his undoing in the race.
“I think potentially, he could cross over with some inappropriate comments,” said Andy, adding, “And it would very much concern me if he was the nominee.”
“I could see him being a hothead,” Fred, a tax preparer, said.
Trump's remarks about whether McCain, the Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, should be described as a war hero rubbed some in the group the wrong way.
“I thought that was disrespectful,” said Jean, a banker. “Regardless of whether he [McCain] was technically a war hero or not, it was disrespectful.”
As for Trump's characterization of undocumented immigrants as “rapists,” however, many in the room said it didn't bother them.
Why should it? Trump doesn't like those people, and neither do Republican primary voters. Those people are poor, lazy, dirty criminals, not like GOP primary voters, who are real Americans. And they're tired of candidates tiptoeing around nationalism and racism rather than just admitting that the prospect of becoming a majority minority nation scares the hell out of them.
The GOP is the party of white privilege, and there hasn't been anyone in American history better suited to representing the base than a rich, obnoxious, loudmouth billionaire who has marketed himself into a worldwide brand and can say and do what he wants, and only gets more popular for it.
Though Trump's considerable wealth—which the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates at $2.9 billion—resonated with those who participated in the focus group, many seemed to regard him as being on the same page as ordinary Americans.
“He's like one of us. He may be a millionaire, which separates him from everybody else, but besides the money issue, he's still in tune with what everybody is wanting,” Janet, a former dog breeder, said.
Trump is "like one of us". They all want to be him. And they will vote for him. He's not going anywhere, folks.