Mother Jones pretty much nails it with this article. My brain is fried so I’ll just give you the highlights reel...
The polite way to say this is that Trump’s message is resonating with Republicans. And polls show that his support is not ideological. He’s winning over GOPers across the spectrum, from conservatives to evangelicals to supposedly moderate Rs. His assault on the GOP powers that be (or powers that were) is not the rebellion of one wing against another. (Political commentators are so programmed to view party conflicts as battles between conflicting factions.) Instead, Trump is tapping into a current that runs throughout the various strains of the GOP. It’s a current of frustration, despair, anger, and yearning—a yearning for a time when the United States will not be confronted by difficult economic and national security challenges, and when you will not have to press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish.
Republicans are pissed off. (In polls, they express far more dissatisfaction with the nation’s present course than Democrats.) And they believe the nation has been hijacked by President Barack Obama, whose legitimacy most Rs still reject. A recent Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa caucus participants found that 35 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States. A quarter said they were not sure. (Nine out of ten Democrats said the president was born in the United States.) So nearly 60 percent of Rs believe there is cause to suspect Obama has hornswoggled the nation. Meanwhile, according to another poll, 54 percent of Republican voters say Obama is a Muslim. A third were not sure. Only 14 percent identified the president as a Christian.
The anti-immigrant, anti-Obama, anti-establishment sentiment that Trump is tapping runs deep within the Republican electorate. Many Republicans clearly see the president as a foreign-born secret Muslim with a clandestine plan to weaken, if not ruin, the United States—remember the death panels—and they have a dark, nearly apocalyptic view of Obama’s America. (My email box of late is full of fundraising notes from right-wing groups claiming Obama is about to confiscate all guns, suspend the Constitution so he can run for a third term, relinquish American sovereignty to the United Nations, and mount a military operation within the United States to subdue any opposition to him.)
If this is your perspective when seeking a presidential candidate who will represent your desires and demands, you are unlikely to be drawn to a politician who wants to gain your vote by presenting a 27-point economic plan or by advocating charter schools. Voters this dissatisfied and this detached from reality will be looking for someone who can vent for them. Trump does that. He also promises quick and simple action to address their concerns: a wall (not a fence), great trade deals at a snap of the finger, the end of ISIS, you name it. And you just won’t believe how great this country will be after four years of President Trump. A focus group of Trump backers recently conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz found that Trumpites fancied Trump as much for his cut-the-crap manner as for the substance of his remarks.