Updated: Sept. 2, 2015 at 11:19 p.m.
This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Vaidehi Patel.
Chuck Todd led a panel of political experts to discuss the 2016 campaign in front of a packed crowd in the Jack Morton Auditorium Wednesday night.
The panelists of pollsters and strategists quickly acknowledged the growing popularity of Trump, a “flamboyant” Republican candidate. Known for his countless controversies with the media since the start of his campaign, Trump has quickly become well-known for his politics and strategies – and not just for his business ventures or TV presence.
Paul Wilson, the chairman and CEO of Wilson Grand Communications, said Trump’s ability to effectively use social media like Twitter and make his campaign similar to reality TV has given him an edge over the other candidates.
“He treats media like a salt shaker,” Wilson said.
Amy Walter, the national editor of The Cook Political Report, said that Trump is different from the other candidates because he tends .
“He is seen as the kid on the playground not playing by the rules,” Walter said.
The panelists also criticized Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for doing few national interviews.
Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, said that Clinton’s campaign depends on the votes of all kinds of minority groups, including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and women. If she doesn’t make herself more accessible, she could lose the votes from these key populations, the panelists agreed.
But Cornell Belcher, the president of Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies, said that any candidate could lose to a late campaign launch from the “amiable” Vice President Joe Biden.
And all panelists agreed that the American people have lost trust in Washington politicians, meaning that anxiety over the future and anger are driving forces behind their choice of candidate. Candidates will have to work on becoming likeable to win the voters over, they said.
“The most important thing that the people want is a president they like,” Belcher said.