Tuesday, August 16, 2016


In The Washington Post today, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson frets:
Trump may cost the GOP a generation of voters

... 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.
Fine, 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.

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.


Victor said...

Please proceed, GOP.
Please, proceed...

Feud Turgidson said...

Counter to ABT GOPers: U R self-deluding. Trump won because Trump is: a) closest BY FAR to who your base really is, and b) the best BY FAR of your grifting scamming kind.

I stand with Beutler:


... other Republicans polled better than Trump against Clinton is that they themselves were losing, and as such were spared the scrutiny and negative attention that Clinton has endured for 25 years ...

Kasich is in fact amazingly easy to put in a crazy can. Rubio did himself in and would again: he has that down. JEB is a Bush - no getting around that losing hand. And Cruz would have been easiest by far, given how ridiculously vulnerable he is to be despised.

Trump won because Trump was the best they have, like Romney in 2012 & McCain in 2008. It MIGHT be possible to argue that a few Dems could beat her in the primary, but apparently none of THEM think so.

Ernest Lamonica said...


Minister O said...

I feared Cruz winning the R primary. That's the kind of sleaze Republicans can really get behind. And Rubio, the media would have loved to make him king. Trump is a stroke of luck, hopefully enough to turn the tide.

Unknown said...

But, if they changed their policies, how would you tell they're Republicans? They really have no way to save themselves from themselves.

Ten Bears said...

We have had the conversation before, we are witnessing in painful slow motion the End of The Republican Party. Toast. Dead meat. The dustbin of history.

Things are going to change.

Blackstone said...

E's passed on! This party. is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't Hypnotized with Fox t'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARTY!