Chris Cillizza | The Republican establishment is in DEEP trouble

<p>House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Boehner said Thursday it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year, dimming prospects for one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)</p>

Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post:

A majority of Republican registered voters want either Donald Trump or Ben Carson to be their party’s 2016 presidential nominee, according to two new national polls from the Washington Post-ABC News and the New York Times-CBS News.

Let that sink in for a minute.  Neither Trump, who made his name as a real estate mogul and reality star, nor Carson, a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, have run for any office prior to their presidential candidacies. Both men have staked the entirety of their campaigns on the idea that they are the furthest thing possible from a traditional politician. And it is working for both of them. Big time.

While the rise of Trump tends to dominate the headlines, polls like these from The Post and the Times provide a reminder of the big picture here for the Republican party. And that big picture is simple: The GOP establishment is on the run, and there are few signs that its members have any sort of coherent strategy to deal with the massive uprising within its ranks.

It’s not only that 53 percent of Republican voters (in the Post poll) or 50 percent of GOP voters (in the Times poll) say they are for either Trump or Carson. It’s also how few Republican respondents in those same surveys say they are for the establishment choices. Jeb Bush, the man everyone assumed would be the race’s front-runner, clocks in at 8 percent in the Post poll and 6 percent (!) in the Times poll. Scott Walker, the guy who was supposed to challenge Bush for the top spot, takes 2 percent in both the Times and Post polls. Two.

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