NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - As outsiders Ben Carson and Donald Trump continue to shake up the 2016 presidential race, the idea of electing a non-career politician excites many Americans across party lines.
David Birdsell is an expert on political debating. He is dean of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs. He says Trump's explosive rise to GOP frontrunner is largely attributed to his success in show business.
Throughout history, Hollywood has offered a ripe training ground for future politicians. Before Trump there was the Governator -- Arnold Schwarzenegger. Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" pays homage to the original actor-turned-president, Ronald Reagan.
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows Carson leading Trump 29 to 23 percent. Birdsell advises candidates should never substitute stage presence for a firm point of view.
But perhaps the most fascinating common ground many of these former entertainers share is that they traded an industry that skews left for a chance to represent the right.