WASHINGTON — Just a few weeks ago, Donald Trump was riding high, leading the field of potential Republican presidential candidates in public opinion polls.
Now the outspoken billionaire is sinking to the bottom of the pack, mocked for everything from his outrageous hairstyle to his inability to take a joke and, most seriously, his embrace of a fringe group of so-called birthers who believe U.S. President Barack Obama is not American-born.
“Donald Trump had a meteoric rise to the top of the GOP presidential field and has fallen back down just as quickly,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said after releasing a survey that shows Trump has plunged from first place to a tie for fifth, barely ahead of the seventh place candidate.
“Republican voters burned out on him pretty fast, especially after the birther issue lost some of its potency with the release of President Obama’s birth certificate.”
The real estate mogul’s woes come after weeks of dizzying Trump-isms that have resulted in the type of widespread media ridicule usually reserved for his fellow Republican, Sarah Palin.
He’s been taunted for everything from his over-simplistic foreign policy ideas — on Libya, Trump said: “I would go in, I would take the oil and stop this baby stuff” — to his opposition to same-sex marriage.
“I think gayness is wonderful,” Trump said on his reality show, Celebrity Apprentice, on Sunday. This came after telling the New York Times he was against same-sex marriage as he compared homosexuality to golf putter preferences.
“It’s like in golf,” Trump told the paper. “A lot of people are switching to these really long putters. Very unattractive. It’s weird . . . I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
Not terribly traditional when it comes to his hairstyle, however, a fluffy, orange-hued hair helmet that defies accurate description. Trump explained his styling technique to Rolling Stone magazine this week.
And yet he wasn’t so good-natured about his coif when comedian Seth Meyers joked at the White House Correspondents Dinner two weeks ago: “Donald Trump often appears on Fox, which is ironic, because a fox often appears on Donald Trump’s head.”
Indeed, Trump is still whinging about the jokes made at his expense at the dinner, when Obama also mocked the tycoon’s birtherism.