- Matthew Continetti is editor of the Washington Free Beacon
- He cited the influx of immigrant children in 2014 as a key factor in motivating conservatives
"There's a feeling, I know, of people who say that Trump is a fluke, and I just don't believe that to be the case," Continetti told CNN's "Party People" podcast hosts Kevin Madden and Mary Katherine Ham in a conversation less than a week before Election Day.
Continetti, who is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, said the voters who are now behind the real estate mogul's presidential bid are among the same supporters who backed Ross Perot in 1992 -- another political outsider who ran on a message of fighting free trade efforts.
"They were the ones who were cheering Sarah Palin the loudest in 2008," Continetti said. "They were there, the core of the tea party in 2010. And now they're for Donald Trump. So you just see a very populist movement at the heart of the Republican Party that is open to radical solutions to America's problems."
He said that a key moment that energized the voting bloc behind Trump was in reaction to the federal government's handling of an influx of migrant children
from Central America in summer 2014. In November 2014, following losses in the midterms, Obama announced a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system based on executive action.
Aspects of his plan have been blocked in federal courts.
"I think for many voters, many Republican and many conservative voters, they said, 'What is this? The system is rigged. We need to look for an outsider to blow it up, because we don't like (where) our country is headed.'"
To hear Continetti's thoughts on the future of the Republican Party, what's the key to a good economy and what will happen on Election Day, listen to CNN's "Party People" podcast.
Get CNN's "Party People" podcast at CNN