The Daily Donald: Meet your new GOP frontrunner, America

Will it last? Not a chance. But even as corporate brands dump Trump, he's riding high in the polls

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 10, 2015 1:09PM (EDT)

Donald Trump                      (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)
Donald Trump (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

Donald Trump is still running for president and his political star is ever rising -- unlike his corporate brand. Another day, another poll with Trump leading the Republican field. Here are some of the latest developments:

Trump #1 in new national poll

Donald Trump is the number one choice for 15 percent of registered Republican voters in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll and the second choice of 12 percent of Republicans. Trump's second choice status bests Jeb Bush's position as the top choice of 11 percent of  Republicans:

But who are these Republicans? Trump’s statements on immigration may be striking a chord. Two-thirds of those who choose Trump first or second support the goals of the Tea Party, higher than the overall percentage of Republicans who do. They are much less likely to have a college education than are other Republicans, and they are more likely than other Republicans to say they are “very” conservative.

This is the first national poll showing Trump leading the Republican field. He's previously come second and third in national polls.

Ted Nugent is #TeamTrump 

Trump defenders are a special bunch. Right-wing rocker, Ted Nugent, has unsurprisingly joined #TeamTrump. Nugent wrote in a WorldNetDaily op-ed that Trump deserved the Medal of Freedom for speaking out against "the professional political punks in D.C.":

Donald Trump’s message sings to Americans because he doesn’t play politically correct brain-dead games. He calls them like he sees them. That’s refreshing to millions of Americans who believe political correctness is a public cancer that has eroded free speech and everything else good about America.


I dare anybody to show me one word from Trump that isn’t accurate. What sort of denial gagged liar denies that our country is being invaded by drugrunners, murderers and rapists? What sort of denial gagged liar could possibly believe Trump meant legal immigrants?

GOP, your very existence is on the line here. Show some honesty or you’re done.

Trump goes after Karl Rove, zings President Bush 

In a new interview with the conservative, Trump took a swipe at GOP establishment critics who dismiss his candidacy. Trump singled out political strategist Karl Rove. Surprisingly, Trump didn't actually use one of his favorite words to describe Rove -- loser -- although he essentially said as much:

Karl Rove spent $430 million dollars on various campaigns last cycle. Didn’t win one. Which is pretty hard to do ... But Karl Rove spent $430 million dollars and didn’t win one race, and I think that’s pretty sad, and I can’t imagine how anybody would listen to him.

And after ABC News reported that George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush received $150,000 to speak to a charity for wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump shot off a tweet blasting the former president for profiting off the U.S. military:

[embedtweet id=619116090501799936]

Trump's targeting of the Bush circle may be one of the reasons why Jeb Bush told Fox News he was done answering questions about Trump.

About that time Trump told the GOP to be nicer to Hispanics...

GOP head Reince Priebus called Trump this week to ask him to tone down his harsh and offensive language about Mexican immigrants, and although he's put up a defiant front now that he is atop some of the national polls, he was singing a different tune bak in 2012. Following Mitt Romney's loss, Trump appeared to agree with Priebus' assessment that Republican outreach to Latino voters was severely lacking. Trump told Newsmax he believed Romney's loss was due to his "maniacal" immigration policy:

Republicans didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians ... The Democrats didn’t have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren’t mean-spirited about it.

Trump detractors on Twitter jumped all over yet the latest case of Trump hypocrisy.

Trump Inc.

Did you know that the Federal Aviation Administration also has ties to Donald Trump? Well, they don't any longer. The agency announced yesterday that it was renaming navigational points named "DONLD," "TRMMP," and "UFIRD" used by pilots at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. An FAA spokesperson said the agency usually selects noncontroversial codes and well, The Donald is anything but these days.

“We actually have had reports of people refusing to fly these departures because they are so offended by the fact that Trump has been memorialized,” one pilot told The Sun Sentinel.

But as Bloomberg explains, all of the controversy the Trump brand endures stateside doesn't necessarily transfer overseas. "Developers in the Philippines, Turkey, Panama, Canada, India, and Uruguay pay Trump millions in licensing fees to put his name on buildings he neither built nor owns, with an aim to sell condominiums and hotel rooms at higher prices. These deals provide nearly risk-less revenue streams for Trump, which, along with income from properties he owns, helps pay down existing debts and fund new projects."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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