With five debates down, the GOP primary continues to excite. Donald Trump has finally committed to the GOP, Ted Cruz is moving up quickly, Marco Rubio is holding steady, and the Iowa caucus six weeks away. But the contest has so far failed to identify a real frontrunner. Here's why.
Contrary to media stereotyping, the GOP is indeed a big tent. It draws together three distinct views of America, public policy, and the role of government: 1) nationalist, 2) globalist, and 3) moralist. Each of these factions is conducting its own primary, with an aggregate effect that is confounding pundits and frustrating the establishment.
The nationalist faction draws heavily upon what we used to call the working class. Its members, who skew towards the lower half of workers in both education and income, are fiercely proud of their own accomplishments and protective of their traditional lifestyles. They are wary of intrusive government but not averse to government assistance.