Trump may cost the GOP a generation of votersFine, Republicans -- just keep telling yourselves that Trump is your big problem. From there, it follows logically that you can start repairing the damage as soon as he's gone.
... a recent USA Today/Rock the Vote poll ... shows Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump by 56 percent to 20 percent among voters under 35. Let that sink in. Trump is supported by 1 in 5 younger voters -- an astonishing and consequential collapse for the GOP.
... why is Trump crashing and burning among the young?
... it cannot be that younger voters are rejecting Trump because he is too socially conservative. He got applause during his convention speech for promising to defend “LGBTQ citizens.” Trump’s nomination represents the advance of gay rights (though not of gay marriage) within the Republican coalition and the marginalization of social issues.
I would venture that Trump’s failure among the young has something to do with his assault on the idea of tolerance, particularly racial and religious tolerance.
... It is the way to lose a generation.
Except that Republicans won't, because they've been losing the young for years. The poll Gerson quotes has a very low number for youth support of Trump, but that poll and other recent polls are pretty much in line with exit poll results in the last two elections:
The latest Economist/YouGov tracking poll has Clinton leading 59-27 among under-30 voters and 55-28 among those ages 30 to 44. The most recent ABC/Washington Post survey showed a more modest 52-40 Clinton lead among voters under 40.... By way of comparison, Barack Obama won under-30 voters 66-32 in 2008 and 60-37 in 2012.(Emphasis added.)
If Republicans think Trump is their sole problem, they'll just go back to being the same old Republicans after November -- with the same results. Remember, every other serious contender for the Republican nomination this year was against gay marriage (as is Trump, despite Gerson's insistence that he's got that issue covered). Every Republican contender this year would have come down on the wrong side of the transgender bathroom issue. Every one was an unswerving opponent of abortion -- and look, there was Fresh Young Face Marco Rubio a couple of weeks ago saying that Zika-infected pregnant women shouldn't have the right to legal abortion. Every GOP contender was a climate change denialist. Every one would have run in opposition to universal health care, student loan relief, and an increase in the federal minimum wage. Every one would have run in favor of fracking, deregulation of big business, and massive tax cuts for the rich. Every one would have denounced Black Lives Matter.
Republicans, you're going to keep losing the youth vote until you change some of your policies. But if you'd prefer to live in denial of this, and to blame all your youth-vote woes on Trump, be my guest.