Billionaire businessman Donald Trump increased his lead last week ahead of the crowded Republican field for president.
A new national poll, taken by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and released Thursday, shows Mr. Trump leading the Republicans with 28 percent. That is eight points higher than where he was just a month ago. Retired surgeon Ben Carson comes in second with 12 percent. Jeb Bush, the former Republican front-runner, lags behind in third place. Compared with Mr. Trump’s 28 percent, only seven percent of Republicans said they like Mr. Bush best.
Not all of the news was good for Mr. Trump. The same voters that were polled described him as “arrogant,” “blowhard,” and an “idiot.” Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, did better there. Voters used the words “Bush,” “family,” and “honest” when describing him. Jeb Bush is the son and brother of the former presidents with the same last name, Bush.
Speaking to reporters in South Carolina on Thursday, Mr. Trump said he has the support of “the silent majority.” He said these are Americans who "feel abused, that feels forgotten, that feels mistreated... that wants the country to have victories again."
Stuart Rothenberg is a political expert with the Rothenberg and Gonzalez Political Report. His newsletter does not support any political candidates or issues. He says Republican voters are not serious yet about who they will choose to be president of the United States.
"We’re at the point now where voters simply want to express frustration and anger and disappointment about the direction of the country... and so they’re looking for someone who gives them voice, and Donald Trump certainly does that."
The New York business man does not support his policies with details or facts, says Mr. Rothenberg and others who study politics.
“Donald Trump seems to pull numbers out of the hat and make general, huge general statements out of thin air.”
Mr. Trump is the most popular candidate among 28 percent of Republican voters at this time. However, 26 percent of Republicans also said there is “no way” they would vote for him.
Trump incites debate on immigration
On television and social media, Mr. Trump continues to get attention for his statements about immigration. He has been criticized for negative comments he made about Mexicans.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, their rapists.”
Last week he announced his plan for immigration reform.
It includes ending “birthright citizenship.” Now, any baby born in the United States automatically gets U.S. citizenship. That is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Trump says he would ask the courts to review the law, if he were elected president.
His immigration policy would overturn President Barack Obama’s immigration policy. Mr. Trump said he would deport, or return millions of illegal immigrants to their home countries.
Mr. Trump also said he wants to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he would require Mexico to pay for it.
Trump and Bush
Other Republicans are concerned about immigration and birthright citizenship. However, Jeb Bush called Mr. Trump’s immigration proposal “unrealistic.”
Not all Republican candidates agree with Mr. Trump. But they are afraid to speak against him, said Mr. Rothenberg. He said Jeb Bush is an exception:
“I think that Jeb Bush is taking him on. But look, it’s very clear who’s getting all the attention now, who has the momentum, and, uh, it’s Trump. He’s still leading in surveys, and he seems to be defining, dictating the discussion. Um, you know, when Donald Trump talks, everybody listens. And he talks a lot, and so it’s hard for the other candidates to get through.”
Trying to be heard above the noise, Jeb Bush borrowed some of Mr. Trump’s words recently. He used Mr. Trump’s phrase “anchor babies” to describe babies delivered by foreign women seeking a path to U.S. citizenship.
During a campaign event last week, Mr. Bush said he did not think the phrase “anchor baby” was offensive. He said “frankly it’s more related to Asian people coming to our country, having children in that organized effort and taking advantage of… birthright citizenship.”
Asian-American leaders called on Mr. Bush to apologize for his comment.
Federal agents define "maternity tourism" as wealthy foreign women, giving birth in the U.S. so their children will be U.S. citizens. Many of those women are from China.
Who are the immigrants?
The Center for Immigration Studies is a non-partisan research organization. It says every year, 300,000 to 400,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the United States.
Who immigrates to the U.S.? Of the 41 million immigrants in the U.S. the majority come from Mexico. Others come from Burma, or Myanmar, Bhutan, Canada, China and other countries. More than one in 10 people living in the U.S. now were born in another country.
Jeb Bush defended his stand on immigration at a campaign event Tuesday in Colorado. He spoke about his wife, a Mexican immigrant who became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“I'm 62 years old. When I was 17 years old, I fell in love with Columba Garnica de Bush. It’s going to be really hard for me to get lectured to by anybody about the politics of immigration.”
Critics of Donald Trump say his campaign will fall apart and he will leave the race. Supporters disagree and say he is a serious candidate for the 2016 race for the White House.
I’m Anne Ball.
Anne Ball reported and wrote this story. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Do you think the birthright policy is a good one? We want to hear from you, leave your comment in the comment section below. Next week we will take a look at how the Democrats did in the Quinnipiac poll.
Words in This Story
poll –n. people are asked a question or a series of questions to get information about what most people think about something
front-runner –n. the person who is most likely to win a race
lags –v. to be behind someone, or move slowly
arrogant –adj. an attitude of people who believe that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people
blowhard – n. a person who talks too much and who has strong opinions that other people dislike
idiot –n. a very stupid or foolish person
automatically –adv. happening or done without deliberate thought or effort
non-partisan -adj. not siding with any political belief