The rise of Republicans for Clinton

Clinton has an opportunity to win a realigning election if she concentrates on building the broadest possible coalition beyond her base, contra Trump.

The phrase “Republicans for Hillary” sounds surreal but expect it to be a rallying cry—however reluctant—in the coming months. Already we’ve seen a surprising number of conservative columnists announce “#I’mWithHer” as a logical extension to #NeverTrump. Conservative humorist PJ O’Rourke became the latest to endorse Hillary in a Daily Beast column.

Noticeably absent from the Hillary camp has been any Republican elected official to date. On the surface this makes sense. Hating Hillary Clinton has been a conservative cottage industry for a quarter century. But Trump represents a new kind of existential threat for their party and a basic departure from fundamental Republican policies and commitments at home and abroad.

The larger state of play is the two parties have been suffering from market failure over the past two decades as the number of independents has nearly doubled while the party registration has flatlined. It’s not an accident this has happened precisely at a time when the parties have grown more polarized. But crucially, the Democratic Party is still equally balanced between moderates and liberals while the Republican Party is less than one-quarter centrist today and seems hell bent on becoming ever farther right-leaning.