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Donald Trump isn’t just leading the Republican presidential primary field—he’s dominating it. As of Monday, the business mogul and former reality TV star is earning over 40 percent in the polls.

How? Identity politics. From his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States to tirades against Mexican immigrants, Trump continues to solidify his base by exploiting Americans’s fundamental fears about “the other.”

In this episode of Intersection, host Jamil Smith is joined by Al Jazeera America national correspondent Wajahat Ali and New Republic senior editors Jeet Heer and Elspeth Reeve to discuss how Trump continues to build his campaign around long-festering white fears and resentments. His campaign can be funny stuff—but given the violence that it has inspired, it has proven to be quite literally scary, too.

This episode is the third in a series looking at the 2016 presidential candidates through the lens of identity. First up were Marco Rubio and Ben Carson. Let us know who you want to hear about next by emailing us at

Want more Trump? Of course you do.