Lesser of two evils 2016
Trumps unlikely candidacy is fueled by the populism born of the tea party, the anti-government, anti-establishment, we-don't-care-for-politicians sentiment. It doesn't matter if you have experience. Doesn't matter if you're likable. It just matters if you get things done. Bullies are welcome, in fact that's a strong plus. Donald Trump resonates with these voters precisely because he didn't have a snowballs chance in hell when he started running. The pundits underestimated trumps chances because they under estimated the strength of the populist movement. What's out is in, and like skinny ties, Trumps success is - to say the least - a head-scratcher. On paper, it just doesn't work. But that's exactly why it works. His appeal is that he has no appeal. It's as if his entire campaign is a giant New York middle finger to the political class. Say what you want about Trump - it's still completely entertaining, like watching a train wreck is entertaining. You can't NOT look.
What's interesting is that Ted Cruz is situated similarly, but it's the rational opposite. His "anti-crony capitalism" rhetoric fires up the same base. If your hate for Senate gridlock has you excited about Ted Cruz, I think you're betting for the snake against the mongoose. He's the lawyerly opposite of Trump stylistically, but the words are practically the same - they're just more polished.
Since Trump and Cruz have similar poll numbers, you could draw the conclusion that the populist movement in the GOP at present is extremely significant, and the conservatives are a bit lost in their ideology. You'd be right. Both candidates exemplify this - Trump is socially liberal and Cruz would just as soon shut down the government as have to give an inch on an issue. Both candidates' campaigns are reactions against what the GOP has stood for. Both represent the failure of GOP policy to 'stick' with the GOP base.
Of course they are far different candidates IRL. One of the main differences is that Trump, while a bully on the debate stage, is, according to Sarah Palin, willing to make a 'dill,' while Cruz is the type of politician that is willing to set his own house on fire to collect insurance money.
Both are scary. But both represent how fed up the American people are with their politicians. With the gridlock in the system. The GOP has no one to blame but themselves for this quandary, this choice between two terrible candidates. It's Genghis Khan versus Machiavelli. Who would you rather have as your next president?