The Donald Trump phenomenon has much of the country scratching their heads. Everyone's asking, is this for real? Many people wonder if his rise is simply the result of high name recognition, or a sort of summer fling with GOP voters.
It will take a few days to see how his performance in the first televised Republican debate will affect his status, but early returns point to more success. An analysis of where Trump stands in polling across the country suggests his support is both real and deep, unable to be easily dislodged the way many in the media predict.
Here's an overview:
Nationally: In the Huffington Posts's aggregation of national polls, Trump is at 25.5 percent, while his closest opponent Jeb Bush is at 12.9 percent. Scott Walker is at 10.7 percent.
Iowa: Huffington Post has Trump at an average of 18.4 percent in Iowa, barely behind Scott Walker's 19.5 percent.
New Hampshire: Huffpo's aggregation puts Trump at 25.6 percent in New Hampshire, with Jeb Bush trailing at a meager 13.2 percent.
Many have argued that GOP voters don't see Trump as viable and will ultimately hand their votes to someone else. That's possible, but the polling shows they see him as more and more viable enough to receive their votes, as NBC News notes:
March 2015 NBC/WSJ poll: 74% of GOP primary voters said theyy couldn't see themselves backing Trump. couldn't see themselves backing Trump.
June 2015 NBC/WSJ: 66% of GOP primary voters said they couldn't see themselves backing Trump.
July 2015 NBC/WSJ: 49% of GOP primary voters said they couldn't see themselves backing Trump.
We don't know how Trump will do in the upcoming primaries (that is, if he doesn't pull out). But given these numbers, he will be a serious contender in the race.