PORT RIKER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Billionaire real estate mogul, former reality-TV star, and current 2016 Republican presidential front runner Donald J. Trump touted new polling numbers that show his support among likely Republican voters in New Hampshire skyrocketing upward at a campaign stop in the state this week.
“Look at these numbers,” Trump said rapping his knuckles on the paper he held out to the crowd, “I’m up 15 points this morning. 15 friggin’ points! That’s yooge!” The poll, conducted by We Poll You, Inc., a right-leaning think tank based in Kentucky, showed that Trump’s support has reached 58% among New Hampshire voters, and if the jump itself wasn’t noteworthy, the timing of it is. Earlier in the week, Trump had been seen at a campaign stop elsewhere in New Hampshire punching an Islamic imam in the crotch, and many in the media felt he had finally done something that even the most radically anti-Islamic Republican voters couldn’t endorse.
Yet, when responding to the poll questions, 92% of respondents said the crotch punch was “a major factor” in supporting Trump. Five percent said it was “somewhat” of a factor, while three percent asked if they had won a prize, and when they were told no they hung up the phone. One Republican pollster we spoke to called the surge “unprecedented” but also said that “when you’re tapping into a current of paranoia based fear and ignorance, all bets are off.”
“Yeah I punched that imam,” Trump said, “right in the taco.” Mr. Trump explained that the altercation took place after the Muslim man approached him, wanting to discuss Trump’s insistence in the media that he saw Islamic Americans celebrating in the streets of New Jersey the day of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon back in 2001. “He told me,” Trump said, “that he thought I was ‘gravely mistaken’ and that he ‘just wanted to have productive dialogue’ with me.”
Mr. Trump said he felt “threatened” by the “high-fallutin’, multi-syllable words” the Imam was using so he did “what any other American would do” and he “lashed out with hyperbolic levels of violence.” Trump said he and his team had “done all the research” and found that originally the Constitution had a “taco punch clause” that would give any “powerful, rich, white land owning male” the right to “punch a negroid person — or person of any other dark skin tone or differing religious belief as the powerful, rich, white land owner” if the that powerful, rich, white land owner felt threatened or intimidated in any way.
“It’s insane, absolutely insane to me,” Henry Remis, a political science professor at the University of Marlyand told us, “that there is seemingly no floor to the depths to which Mr. Trump will sink and still see his numbers go up. ” Remis said that while openly racist and xenophobic rhetoric from American politicians is “nothing new at all,” it has been quite some time since a presidential candidate was willing to “play to the cheap seats in such a damaging, negligent way.”
For his part, Trump said anyone looking for an apology from him is “barking up the wrong bush” and that they’d “have more luck squeezing blood from a biscuit.” He said he plans to keep speaking his mind and “taco punching any-damn-body” he pleases. With just under a year left before the election, Trump is currently leading the Republican field in most nationally-recognized polls.