(The Washington Post) – This has become the summer of the political outsider, as a cast of interlopers upend and dominate the presidential nominating process in both parties.
The surging candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are fueled by people’s anger with the status quo and desire for authenticity in political leaders. Across the ideological spectrum, candidates are gaining traction by separating themselves from the political and economic system that many everyday Americans view as rigged against them.
“There are a lot of voters who are exceptionally frustrated with traditional politics and politicians and who quite simply feel failed by the system,” said pollster Geoff Garin, who advises Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. “A lot of this anger crosses party lines in the sense that it is directed at what people see as a concentration of wealth and power that leaves them holding the short end of the stick.”
Consider recent developments in the Republican race. Rick Perry was the governor of Texas for 14 years and had an enviable record on jobs to boot, but his presidential campaign is running on fumes. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham has served on Capitol Hill for a quarter-century, yet the South Carolina Republican barely cracks 1 percent in the polls.