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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 05:26 PM ET, 05/10/2011

Donald Trump gets mauled by the freak show

A funny number from Gallup, which finds that Donald Trump’s “positive intensity score” among Republicans and GOP leaners has plummetted to a lower level than that of any other 2012 GOP presidential hopeful:

Businessman and television personality Trump, recipient of much publicity over the last several weeks, has the unenviable distinction of receiving a Positive Intensity Score of 0, the lowest for any of the 13 candidates measured. Overall, 98% of Republicans recognize Trump, but among this group 12% say their opinion of Trump is strongly favorable, while 11% say it is strongly unfavorable. Rounding differences result in his overall net score of 0. Last week, when Trump’s numbers were first reported, his Positive Intensity Score was 4, suggesting he lost ground after a week in which he was the butt of jokes that comedian Seth Meyers and President Barack Obama delivered at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. That same week, Trump’s focus on Obama’s birthplace was defused by the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate.

And let’s not forget that all this was followed by the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

After Obama was forced to release his long-form birth certificate, Donald Trump actually claimed it as a point of pride that he’d forced Obama’s hand. Unbeknownst to Trump, however, during the very same week that Obama was compelled to respond to Trump’s hucksterish conspiracy theorizing about his birthplace — which fed the larger storyline that there’s something fundamentally un-American about the President — Obama’s national security team was privately working out the plan that successfully killed America’s number one terrorist foe.

Now, in addition to the above Gallup findings, Public Policy Polling finds Trump has dropped to a meager 8 percent in a 2012 GOP primary matchup, tied for fifth place with Ron Paul. As Dave Weigel notes, Trump’s numbers are “collapsing like a poorly built McMansion.”

What a ride! At first the Donald skillfully played the media, adopting a strategy of deliberately tracking in lurid, freak-show-friendly falsehoods in the full knowledge that the resulting media attention — even if negative — would buoy his presidential hopes among GOP primary voters. At first, it worked. But Trump was defined by the freak show, too, and his antics quickly came to look pathetically buffoonish and small when reality — Obama’s birth certificate, the killing of Bin Laden — came along and popped Trump’s balloon, causing him to crash back down to earth.

Live by the freak show, die by the freak show.

By  |  05:26 PM ET, 05/10/2011

 
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