Did You Read What Carly Said About Donald?

Another Quinnipiac University National poll is out, and guess what? Trump doubles down on Jeb: he gets 20% versus 10% for Jeb. Among voters at large, Trump has sharp negatives: his favorability rating is the worst of any major candidate, and he has 30% of Republican voters, for goodness sake, saying there’s no way they’ll vote for him. And yet, among GOP candidates in a crowded field he’s way out in front. Scott Walker comes in 2nd with 13%, and then Jeb comes in at 3rd with his disappointing 10%. Everyone else is at 6% or less: Cruz, Carson, even Rubio, and the rest of them have been relegated to the wings in what is becoming the Donald Trump Show: the Man Who Wouldn’t Leave or Shut Up.

You can slice the Quinnipiac poll in various ways to show, for example, that Biden is a potentially strong contender in a one-on-one v. Trump, and that most major candidates thump Trump as the media has been saying. And yet he's still leading among an incredibly diverse and deep field. His core supporters seem serious and persistent in using him to voice their concerns. But maybe it's more than that: maybe they like what he says. And the more he says, the more they seem to like him. So despite the fact that in a head to head even Bernie Sanders beats Trump, the billionaire businessman is out in front where for now it counts: among his GOP rivals. No one could have predicted this. No one did predict this. And with the continuing strong showing in the polls, some academics like John Geer at Vanderbilt say he's capturing long-simmering anger on the part of the conservative base at the last two GOP presidential candidates - perhaps even at George W. Bush's perceived betrayal of their values. Republican strategists are desperately dismissive on the other hand: John Feehery predicts that "in time, people will see Trump is not who they want to have as a nominee." He adds however, "But that's going to take awhile."

Among those GOP contenders who now have even less visibility, there was one voice that has made some very interesting comments on Trump. They went like this: "I think he's hitting on issues that Americans care about. Americans clearly believe the economy isn't growing quickly enough ... they're worried and afraid about what's going on the in the world, not just ISIS, but other issues as well. They realize China has turned into an adversary. They're concerned about border security. These are, I think, real issues." That was Carly Fiorina on June 17, the day after Trump's announcement. Another no-nonsense candidate forged in the business world. A Trump - Fiorina ticket in 2016? It's no longer possible to laugh out loud at that. Much as many would love to.

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