Donald Trump is a distant second in campaign for the first 2016 presidential nominating contest in Iowa. But if the views of some of the nation's most hard-core Republicans are any indication, the billionaire has enough support to remain a factor in the race for quite some time.
Among those planning to attend the state's Feb. 1 Republican caucuses, 50 percent told the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll that Trump says "things that need to be said" and they hope hope he continues to do so.
The poll bolsters concerns on the part of Republican Party leaders who are gradually coming to terms with the fact that Trump has a large enough and committed enough base of supporters to continue to be a major factor in the race, even if he fails to score wins in Iowa and other early contests.
"His supporters are going to stay with him, come hell or high water," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell, who served on Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008. "No one knows how to stop it."