This Tuesday, Donald Trump was announced, unsurprisingly, as the republican candidate for President. Since then, Trump has faced a massive scandal over plagiarism as his wife made a speech almost identical to that of Michelle Obama, and many within his party seem disappointed at the decision. We now face three months of brutal campaigning and controversial stances from both candidates, but I do not doubt it will be Trump who spearheads the savagery.

The main reason for the underhand tactics that have already started and will no doubt continue throughout the campaign is Trump’s low approval ratings. He is regarded as dishonest by 62% of Americans, which is by no means the worst of it, and given the nature of his policies and indeed entire being, it’s too difficult to rely on being able to pull these ratings up. But they can pull Hillary Clinton down, which appears already to be his main tactic. As much seems clear as he begins to throw his first punches of his official Presidential campaign. Trump has labelled Clinton ‘Crooked Hillary’ and a great many republican speakers have reiterated that Clinton is corrupt and a liar, and is stained by 25 years of scandal. When Chris Christie, governor for New Jersey, was speaking to the public to act as a ‘jury of her peers’ and sit in judgement of Clinton, it was not long before the crowd began to cry ‘Lock her up! Lock her up!’

However, despite Trump’s low levels of support from the public, what has allowed him to come this far is his core base of ‘highly in favour’ followers. These are the people who can be counted to vote for Trump time after time without question. The website FiveThirtyEight, which is known for its highly accurate predictions based on statistical analysis, made the prediction a few months back that Trump would never be nominated for the Republican candidacy. It was Harry Enten, a senior writer at FiveThirtyEight who was one of the first to make the call that Trump could not become a candidate and he said that in hindsight his mistake when interpreting the data was that this 30% of people who were highly in favour of Trump, he saw as a ceiling instead of a floor. He expected that Trump could never gain more than around 30% of votes, as that was the number guaranteed to vote for him. But it wasn’t like that, those people guaranteed he would always gain at least somewhere around 30% of votes, and he often had more.

It is this small bed of people who support Trump unwaveringly that mean he poses a threat. Since he was announced candidate, one American was seen on the Jimmy Kimmel show saying there was ‘nothing’ Trump could do to lose his vote. It is unlikely that any of these ardent Trump fans will change their minds over the coming months, but it looks as though Clinton supporters have the same tendency to not be swayed. You are either Clinton or Trump, and there is no real in between, and providing those on the fence lean more towards Clinton, Trump (even with his 30%) is unlikely to be elected. Or let’s at least hope so; the alternative is unbearable.