This Donald Trump thing is now moving into its third month -- with more than half that time featuring Trump as the GOP front-runner.
And yes, we still struggle to understand precisely how this has happened. Or, perhaps more accurately: We struggle to understand whether it has staying power or is just another Rick Perry/Herman Cain/Michele Bachmann/Newt Gingrich thing that GOP voters do long before actual votes are cast and is eventually a thing where we look back and chuckle.
Well, a new Quinnipiac University poll out Monday morning provides some clues as to just how this happened -- and why it might not dissipate as quickly as some think it will.
1. Republicans want an outsider; Democrats don't
The poll finds 77 percent of Democrats would prefer a candidate with experience working the halls of Washington, D.C. On the GOP side, 73 percent prefer someone who is a D.C. outsider.
These numbers seem clearly reflective of the fields of primary candidates that exist. Democrats' top two contenders are clear D.C. insiders, which is probably why their party feels that way.
But with the GOP, their field does have some insiders too, and yet three-fourths want an outsider. It's a big reason Trump and Ben Carson are leading and Carly Fiorina is ascendant. It's also why candidates who have served in Congress are taking just one out of every five votes in the new Iowa caucus poll released over the weekend.
2. People hate congressional Republicans, including Republicans
This is part and parcel of No. 1. While 31 percent of Americans have a positive image of the Republican Party, just 12 percent say the same of the GOP's congressional contingent. That's less than half the share of those who say the same of congressional Democrats.
This -- and this is worth emphasizing here -- is the lowest it's been since at least 2009 (when Q started polling) and probably much longer. Back in October 2013, when Republicans were being blamed for shutting down the government, it wasn't this low. Back then, it was 17 percent; today, it's 12 percent.
Among those unhappy with the congressional GOP? About seven in 10 (69 percent) of Republican voters. Back in October 2013, this number was 56 percent.
So in short: Unprecedented unhappiness with the GOP establishment in Washington -- at least according to this poll.
3. Trust in government
Americans are unhappy with their government and the way things are going in this country, but that's especially true when you're talking about Republicans.
While 38 percent of Democrats say they are at least "satisfied" with the way the federal government works, just 13 percent of Republicans say the same.
And while eight in 10 Democrats say the government does what's right at least some of the time, 41 percent of Republicans said it "hardly ever" does so.
4. They're not purists
A misnomer about the tea party and its present-day offshoots is that they are total purists. And Trump's record is hardly one of conservative purity. In fact, he has in the past favored single-payer health care and abortion rights -- two things that are basically unheard-of when it comes to front-running GOP candidates.
But while one might think an issue like abortion is a litmus test in today's GOP, that's just not really the case. In fact, 69 percent of Republicans answered "yes" to this statement: "If you agreed with a presidential candidate on other issues, but not on the issue of abortion, do you think you could still vote for that candidate or not?"
It sounds like there are plenty of Republicans who just want someone to come in and shake up the entire process, and they aren't exactly worried about where this candidate has stood (or whether he has even taken a stand) on a given issue.
Maybe they just want a strong negotiator?