It seems like Donald Trump can do no wrong — at least for GOP primary voters. His electoral has grown in the last weeks, starting with his blowout in New York and continuing with his five-state sweep, taking in more than half of the votes in each. But there's something you probably don't realize about Trump — a far more disturbing fact than his delegate lead. It's the number of people that are supporting him. Trump has received more popular votes than Mitt Romney did in all of 2012's primary and John McCain in the entire primary season before that.
Ten million people have spoken, and they like this guy — that's how many votes he has to date, after his widely successful showing in the Northeastern Acela primaries this week. In fact, he's only 800,000 votes away from beating George W. Bush's 2000 record of 10.8 million votes in a GOP primary (the Democrats turn out more; Clinton won the popular vote in 2008 with nearly 18 million — yes, she beat Obama). As POLITICO's Kyle Cheney reported, this is problematic for the GOP establishment:
They’re attempting to thwart the candidate who is likely to win more Republican primary votes than any GOP contender in at least the last 36 years, and maybe ever.
The support for Trump is remarkable, and that should scare you. That's because the GOP nomination is essentially his to lose, according to FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver. Because anti-Trump Republicans have largely stayed home in the latest races, Trump has been able to sail to the top. This means that he could do best in blue states like California and New Jersey. If he wins Indiana, the path is paved to victory in a first-round vote at the convention.
Sure, you can take solace in Clinton's superior poll numbers come a general election, but there's still 10 million Americans that have gone to the polls to support him. Sure, he's recently given lip service to "coherent" foreign policy that's based on furthering peace, but this is the man who's bad-talked Mexico, China, and European allies via NATO critiques. This is the guy who said women who have illegal abortions should be punished. What are these 10 million fellow citizens thinking?
Even if he goes on to lose the nomination or, more likely, the general election, his supporters will not go away. There's one out of every 30 Americans, and to them, Trump is the greatest. Clinton, who at this point looks more likely than ever to win the nomination and the White House, will want to address them and their issues — many of them economic — with her policies. Because things should never be so bad that you think the answer is to vote for Donald Trump.