“‘There is no passion out there for anybody,’ said Curt Anderson, a Republican strategist not aligned with any candidate. ‘Maybe that will change. But it’s a little bit odd and maybe a little bit disconcerting at this point.’

“In recent weeks, celebrity developer Trump has overshadowed more-conventional contenders with antics that threatened to make the Republican contest look trivial and threw the party off-message…

“Different speakers, representing the ‘tea party’ organizations that sponsored two forums, tried to knock down what they said were false perceptions about the weakness of the field. But voters like Gary Lemay, who supported John McCain in 2008, signaled dissatisfaction. The 57-year-old from Laconia, N.H., said he disliked ‘career, party politicians’ and was drawn to Trump, despite his ‘crazy’ ideas, because ‘he’s going to say it like it is.’

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“‘We like where we’re at,’ said one administration official. ‘It’s early, but quite frankly, the other side is a mess.’…

“‘It’s clearly a sign of the strength of the Obama administration,’ said Democratic pollster Margie Omero. ‘Despite no front-runner, [potential candidates] are still holding back. And we’re past the point of some universally beloved, well-funded candidate emerging.’…

“‘Any time you see Donald Trump at the top of the polls, it’s clearly troubling,’ said University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton. ‘It is kind of perplexing. Four years ago, Republicans were lined up — many of them now realize how difficult it will be to go up against a billion-dollar war chest.'”

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Via Political Wire.

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Via Mediaite.