Monday, August 24, 2015


At The Atlantic, Molly Ball is asking, "Can the Republican Party Survive Trump?"
As Trump evinces surprising staying power atop the Republican field, nervous party members increasingly fret that he is hurting the image of the GOP and damaging its eventual nominee -- who most assume will not be Trump. The most obvious problem is Trump’s outspoken opposition to immigration and immigrants, which has offended Hispanics -- a fast-growing voter demographic the party can’t afford to lose ground with -- and dragged other candidates into a discussion of inflammatory ideas like ending birthright citizenship.

... As Democrats jeer that Trump has merely laid bare the true soul of the GOP, some Republicans wonder, with considerable anguish, whether they’re right. As the conservative writer Ben Domenech asked in an essay in The Federalist last week, “Are Republicans for freedom or white identity politics?”
But so far there's no evidence that Trump is doing any such damage to the Republican Party's image, in the eyes of Hispanics or anyone else. It seems quite likely that most Americans, including Hispanics, believe the master narrative of the Republican race: that Trump is a rogue elephant whom the real Republican Party would dearly love to corral. Moreover, Trump's media dominance means that many Americans have only the vaguest sense of what the other candidates believe.

And so we get this, from Gallup:
Hispanics Frown on Trump, but Not Rest of GOP Field

U.S. Hispanics are still getting to know most of the Republican contenders for president. At this point in the campaign, less than half have formed an opinion of any Republican candidate except Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. Partly because of this, Hispanics' views of most GOP candidates range from mildly positive to mildly negative. The sole exception is Trump, whose favorable rating with Hispanics is deeply negative.

Now, Hillary Clinton does have a +40 net favorable rating among Hispanics. But Bernie Sanders is +5, Jim Webb is +2, Lincoln Chaffee is at par, and Martin O'Malley is at -2. Earlier polling of Hispanics suggests that Joe Biden polls well, but he's not in the race and we don't know if he'll enter.

If you take away the two parties' front-runners, the approval ratings of the remaining candidates are roughly even. So there's no sense that Democrats win the trust of Hispanics because of party affiliation, and no sense of the opposite for Republicans. And there's absolutely no evidence that Trumpism is rubbing off on Bush or Rubio or Walker or Carson or Fiorina.

The GOP survived Watergate. The GOP survived the Gingrich impeachment. The GOP survived Bush-Cheney. The GOP will -- alas -- survive Trump.


mlbxxxxxx said...

Scenario 1, Trump wins the nomination -- I predict lotta damage to the GOP and their brand. And it's going to be epic, Beowulf meets Cyclops epic.

Scenario 2, Trump fades gracefully -- not much damage. Unless he has managed to get everyone to start sounding just like him.

Scenario 3, Trump bolts for a 3rd party run. Maybe we see the GOP split wide open but at least serious long term damage.

I think you are right that the GOP will, alas, survive Trump -- but it's riding a lot on how he exits the race. All things considered, Scenario 2 is probably the most likely but has a 'b' option where he gets a speaking role in prime time at the convention (something that seems pretty likely right now) and that could do some significant damage -- at least to the hopes of whoever (Jeb!) actually wins, a la Buchanan '92.

Priebus said today that he thought Trump was a net plus. I think that's called whistling past the graveyard. I also think you can smell the flopsweat on Priebus clear down here in Mississippi.

Chai T. Ch'uan said...

Ah, that regal Trump stench.

According to ancient tradition, only royal garments were dyed in Tyrian purple, which fetched a higher price by weight than gold or silk. This pigment, made from the secrescences of Murex sea snails, left such a hideous and pervasive stench on its handlers that the Talmud specifically granted wives the right to divorce if their husband took up the vocation.

Feud Turgidson said...

Steve M, the polling you're referring to reflects CURRENT impressions of the GOP on Hispanics. The Trumpnonemon hasn't been around all that long. Given it into Super Tuesday, or however longer it takes for Trump to leave (IF he leaves), THEN check the effects.

Unknown said...

The rest of the field are so afraid of Trump they are moving to his positions. Ted Cruz is positively gushing over Trump, maybe he wants to be Trump's VP.

Victor said...

Trump is only polling at about 25% among GOP voters.

Giuliani, at this point in the 2008 election, was polling at over 30%.

That kind of put things in perspective for me, since we're not witnessing President Rudy's lame duck term.

The danger of Trump for the GOP is that he is pulling the rest of the clowns in the bus even further to the right.

Now, the question is, if he exits or loses the primaries, and doesn't decide to run 3rd Party, will the others still be able to shift to a more centrist position?

You bet!
With the help of our lazy, cowardly, complacent, and complicit MSM.

They'll declare that now that Trump's out, the rest of the candidates are centrists - no matter how extreme their positions may be, and how they may sound - and are ready to give a beating to that evil shrew Hillary - whom they loathe and are desperate to take down.

The eventual death of representative democracy in this country, should be laid at the feet of the MSM - who, have I mentioned recently how lazy, cowardly, compliant, and complacent they are?