South Carolina. — Ted Wade hasn’t cared about politics enough to cast a vote in a US presidential election for almost a quarter of a century, back when he supported Ross Perot’s independent candidacy in 1992.
But Republican Donald Trump’s 2016 White House bid has motivated Wade to get involved and he plans to support the real estate mogul in Nevada’s nominating caucus next month. Trump is a “non-politician” who can fix the “chaos” in Washington, he says.
About one in 10 Americans who plan to cast a vote this election will do so for the first time in years, if ever, and Trump holds a decided edge with them, according to polling by Reuters/Ipsos. (tmsnrt.rs/1SgeLvi)
These voters offer Trump a pool of voters who could be decisive either in the Republican primaries or a general election. They could be crucial for Trump in early-voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, where his nearest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, is putting pressure on Trump and enjoys a strong base of support with more traditionally conservative voters.
In Reuters/Ipsos polling from June to December 2015, 27,3 percent of these “new” voters said they would vote for Trump, higher than his poll numbers among independents and Republicans who regularly vote.
By way of comparison, Cruz captures just 3,4 percent of these voters. And Senator Marco Rubio of Florida snags only 4 percent.
“I’m tired of the chaos between Democrats and Republicans and want to give somebody a try who I think can make a difference,” said Wade of Trump.
The 51-year-old has already switched his affiliation from Democrat to Republican and even attended a Trump campaign event in Las Vegas.
He has told his three older children to get involved in the elections, although he did not say whether he wanted them to vote for Trump.
Trump, the Republican front-runner, has made targeting “lost” voters such as Wade a focus of his campaign. His anti-immigrant rhetoric and protectionist trade proposals have helped him to fashion a message tailored to reach Americans alienated by the endless enmity between the political parties and who, because of declining economic prospects, may feel like neither party has done much for them.
Trump’s strategy is a gamble, given the lack of reliability of many of the voters with whom he is most popular.
In interviews, some of those lost voters insist they will show up, saying they are drawn to Trump’s outsider status and his willingness to upend the political system. — Reuters.