David-- Thanks for the comment! I'd say that the media is a crucial part of Trump's success, but there's a lot more to it than just the media. There is fertile ground out there in the electorate for the kinds of appeals that Trump is making. Political science could have foreseen this (and in many cases did), but what we would have predicted a year ago is that these concerns would have been absorbed into the rhetoric and policy stances of the traditional crop of Republican candidates. That Trump was the one to vault to the front of the pack
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was unexpected. So I'd say that the unsettled electoral conditions were necessary but not sufficient to explain Trump without the "media skill" component.
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by Bert Johnson (not verified)