The Daily Donald: "I was probably drunk," Donald Trump donors explain their support

Donald Trump tops the Fox News poll as supporters voice their delight

Published July 17, 2015 12:31PM (EDT)

Donald Trump                                                 (AP/Dennis Van Tine)
Donald Trump (AP/Dennis Van Tine)

The Trump Circus keeps gaining steam and shows no signs of slowing down. Here are the latest developments to close out yet another week during the Summer of Trump:

Trump tops Fox News Poll 

Trumps support among Republican voters jumped 14 percent in two month to propel him to the top of the Republican presidential field in the latest Fox News poll.

Trump leads with 18 percent support, closely followed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 15 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 14 percent. No one else reaches double-digits while Trump is the second choice for 11 percent. Trump is also the candidate that GOP primary voters say they are most interested in learning more about during the debates. Fox News is hosting the first debate on August 6.

Who is the Trump voter 

With a series of polls showing The Donald atop of the double digit pack of GOP presidential candidates, media outlets are rushing to speak with self-confessed Trump supporters.

"I hope that helps with my golf club membership,” a Trump donor said of his $500 donation to the Trump campaign.

“I don’t know,” another Trump supporter told the Daily Beast when asked why he donated $500 to Trump. “I don’t know why I do half the things I do. I was probably drunk.”

Pollsters seem just as perplexed. “It’s a strange coalition of people,” Patrick Murray of Monmouth University told Politico after their latest poll showed Trump leading nationally. “We can’t pin them down demographically. … It appears he’s cherry-picked individual voters”:

What Murray can say definitively about Trump is that he is an anomaly. In a Monmouth poll released a month ago, Trump had the worst favorability rating of any Republican candidate among Republican voters, 20 percent favorable to 55 percent unfavorable, a fact cited by many political observers in pooh-poohing his viability. In the poll out this week, Trump’s favorability has pulled nearly even at 41-40. The swing was even more dramatic among self-identified tea party voters, who went from viewing him unfavorably, 55 percent to 20 percent, to viewing him favorably 56 percent to 26 percent.

“I’ve never seen a candidate who’s so well known who was able to suddenly turn around people’s opinions of him,” Murray said.

"I didn’t donate to him because he needed money," a nutrition company CEO, who gave Trump's campaign $250, told The Huffington Post. "I donated to him because he’s not afraid to speak the truth."

“I think he’s gonna win,” said another supporter in California. “I think he has a pretty good chance. I mean, people are outraged at the way Obama Hussein has run this country.”

Trump refuses to commit to releasing college transcripts

In 2012, Trump offered to give $5 million to the charity of the President Obama's choosing if the president, who Trump called “the least transparent president in the history of this country," released his college application and transcript. “I heard [Obama] was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?” Trump asked in a 2011 interview. “I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records.”

But when asked this morning on MSNBC if he would release his own college transcripts now that he is an official presidential candidate, Trump said he had never thought about it and refused to commit to release them, opting instead to consider it.

Trump attended Fordham University, before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor’s degree from Wharton business school in 1968, not a master’s in business administration as some of Trump's comments may suggest.

“I went to the Wharton School of Business,” Trump routinely touts during campaign speeches. “I’m, like, a really smart person.”

Trump vs. the World 

Trump continues to lash out on Republicans via Twitter:

[embedtweet id=621781334592241665]

[embedtweet id= 621783757532626944]

Trump claims to be worth $10 billion, donates $1.8 billion to his own campaign 

Trump claimed he earned $362 million in 2014 to bring his net worth to over $10 billion according to financial disclosure forms he filed with the Federal Elections Commission this week. According to those same filings, Trump has already contributed at least $1.8 million of his own money to his campaign.

Although, Forbes disputes that figure, setting Trump's worth closer to $4 billion, Trump is the wealthiest candidate to ever run for president according to either figure.

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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