The Republican Party is apparently getting all gloomy about their chances in November with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. Several GOP lawmakers (including Trump supporters) told The Hill they’re pretty sure he’s going to lose, and lose badly, to Hillary Clinton.
“I’m not feeling great about the immediate future of the conservative movement right now,” said one southern lawmaker, a Trump supporter. “As a conservative who believes our ideas are good for America, it is pretty gloomy these days.”..
“I think it will be Hillary,” predicted a northeastern House GOP lawmaker who is publicly backing Trump…
The southern GOP lawmaker said he’s always believed Trump was a “long shot” due to the demographics of the race. Clinton is trying to build a broad coalition of women, minority, LGBT and youth voters; Trump is appealing to white, working-class voters.
“There was some hope that the disaffected, so-called silent majority would be broad enough and turn out in large enough numbers to give Trump a chance,” said the lawmaker. “But if he continues the next 90 days like the last week, then he will lose big time.”
The polls mostly show Clinton with leads between three and 15 points across the country, so there may be something to this thinking of “doom and gloom.” Of course, the fact most polls show Trump only behind by three to four points could be a good thing for the GOP because of how truly awful Clinton is as a candidate. It’s possible Trump ends up pulling off a miracle, and making the race actually interesting, but that could end up putting the GOP in even more chaos if he loses. Via The Hill:
Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, who hasn’t endorsed Trump, pointed out the obvious: The GOP was supposed to come together in Cleveland, not after Clinton wins the White House.
“No one can forecast how the Republican Party will come back together,” he said. “Republican leaders will have to figure out an agenda that focuses on their problems and until that happens, there will be a huge splinter in the ranks.”
Susan MacManus, a longtime political science professor at the University of South Florida, agreed, arguing that the schisms in the party are actually widening.
“I don’t think it’s going to be easy to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, particularly as the millennials go in their own direction,” MacManus said. “Too many Republicans are frustrated by the establishment and believe that Trump is ‘the last hope’ to shake up Washington.
“The divisions are too deep and the issues are too tied to people’s lives,” she added.
Matt K. Lewis touches on this line of thought at Roll Call, pointing out Trump’s comments of a “rigged” election may have nothing to do with voter fraud.
If the goal is to find a scapegoat to blame for his November loss, it seems entirely possible that this is precisely the kind of conspiracy theory that Trump’s supporters would benefit most from advancing.
Think of it — if you are a conservative talk radio host who backed Trump, would you benefit more from suggesting Hillary Clinton stuffed ballots, or from suggesting that establishment Republicans (aka “GOPe”) intentionally sabotaged the Republican nominee?
I think the latter
Lewis also believes Evan McMullin’s entrance into the race will provide the target of blame for the Trump supporters, especially if he does well in Utah and Arizona (both of which have heavily Mormon populations). Lewis (and AP who wrote on this last night) has a point because of how many people on social media are saying, “A vote for McMullin/Gary Johnson/Jill Stein is really a vote for Clinton (or Trump, depending on their political stances)!” It’s complete, to quote Obadiah Archer, “bull-turds” but plenty of politicians and party leaders look for outward issues to blame, while playing lip service to “outreach” or modifying political positions into something more freedom and liberty oriented. Ted Cruz suggested Christians weren’t voting, which was why Mitt Romney and John McCain lost in 2012 and 2008. Democrats suggested Ralph Nader handed George W. Bush the presidency in 2000, while some Republicans have claimed Ross Perot put Bill Clinton in the White House. It’s not true, but the easier way to go.
The “blame game” also shows horrible short-sightedness on the part of everyone. Both major parties have serious issues and are playing way too much catch up. Democrats “got lucky” with Obama, but I can remember voters being irked post-2008 election about the fact he appointed all these “Washington insiders,” instead of going for people who hadn’t been in government before. Trump (and the GOP) have talked about the fact “Gays/Mexicans/African Americans love me,” but polls show he’s being demolished in at least the latter categories. It’s possible the polls are wrong, but unlikely. Both Democrats and Republicans should start looking at positions which actually “advance freedom” and loosen the government’s role in everyone’s lives. If neither of them are willing to do it, then it’s time for “freedom-loving” conservatives and libertarians (and some leftists who do want freedom on some issues) to pick up the pieces and form a new party (or join one that already exists). If this doesn’t happen, then the cycle is just going to keep going, and everyone will be talking about the need for a “GOP reset,” after 2020.