Trump has pulled a lot of psychological persuasion levers to consistently drive his poll numbers higher.
Looking at Dr. Robert Cialdini’s, “Six Key Principles of Influence”, let’s review what Trump has done thus far.
He gives free helicopter rides. He signs his book, “The Art of the Deal”. He gives hats to supporters. He gives away free tickets to big rallies – and people come from miles around to see him in person – something that people don’t get to do everyday (see a celebrity).
Commitment and Consistency
His “Make America Great Again” and “He’s Stupid” or “Low Energy”, etc., etc. just like his “Your Fired!” in The Apprentice show, repeated over and over show he knows what he’s about and what he’ll do for the voters.
He doesn’t get cow towed by the reporters who try to corner him with their questions. He just pushes back (more commitment and consistency that his supporters love).
He has and wear’s his red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap and his supporters do too.
He learned from Obama’s “Hope and Change” mantra – keep it simple and repeated again and again and you won’t have to go too deep into the details.
Trump is the king of social proof. He tweets. He’s all over the TV networks. And when he’s on, ratings go through the roof. He draws tens of thousands of people to his rallies.
Respected Senator Jeff Sessions coauthored Trump’s immigration plan. At the time Trump was constantly being beat up for not having substance and being accused of not being serious. He laid out a very detailed and well thought out plan by partnering up with an authority on the subject, Senator Jeff Sessions. And then got Sessions to join him at rallies.
Trump has further used this by coming on Bill O’Reilly’s show, known for asking tough questions. Trump knew that by taking those questions head-on, he could beat back many who say he’s not conservative enough or light on knowledge of the issues.
Donald plays on his fame from his books and TV show. He also fights back like his supporters often wish someone would do for them and the way they would like to do it. They’re tired of politicians using double-talk and bowing to the wishes of everyone else but them. And in all they like that he seems to want to do something to make America a place we can be proud of again.
For scarcity he talks about China and Mexico taking our jobs. He talks about an overly complicated tax code that hurts middle class Americans. He talks about an economy that is pathetic and needs good leadership to get things going again. All scarcity topics.
Trump’s Jedi Mind-Trick Unleashed
So what is Trump going to unleash at the CNN debate?
Watch the debate and then comment what you think it is. I’ll reveal it in my comments on Thursday.
Before the debate starts, check out How the 11 candidates stack up.