Thursday, February 18, 2021

Trump's grip on GOP grows as exodus continues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A surge of Republicans quitting the party to renounce Donald Trump after the deadly Capitol riot could hurt moderates in next year’s primaries, adding a capstone to Trump’s legacy as president: A potentially lasting rightward push on the party.

More than 68,000 Republicans have left the party in recent weeks in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, crucial states for Democrats’ hopes of keeping control of Congress in the mid-term elections in 2022, state voter data shows.

That’s about three times the roughly 23,000 Democrats who left their party in the same states over the same time period.

Compared to the Republicans who stayed put, those who fled were more concentrated in the left-leaning counties around big cities, which political analysts said suggested moderate Republicans could be leading the defections.

If the exodus is sustained, it will be to the advantage of candidates in the Republican Party’s nomination contests who espouse views that play well with its Trump-supporting base but not with a broader electorate.

That could make it harder for Republican candidates to beat Democrats in November, said Morris Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University.

“If these voters are leaving the party permanently, it’s really bad news for Republicans,” Fiorina said.

Read the rest here.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

Ideological conservatives, making the short, happy journey to neoliberalism.

Archimandrite Gregory said...

Not surprising at all. The GOP replaced the dead Whig party in 1850. Perhaps a new party needs to replace this crowd.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

The near term political climate does not give much reason for Republican optimism. While its base remains more or less firmly in the cult of Trump, the GOP has been hemorrhaging moderates and principled conservatives who are unwilling to remain in a party that welcomes people like Margery Green (Q GA). This has had the effect of tightening Trump's hold on a shrinking but fiercely loyal party that can be expected to dominate elections in solidly red states and congressional districts with Trumpist and QAnon candidates. But swing states and districts are likely to become increasingly hard to win or or hold onto as moderate and independent voters recoil from the fringe craziness that now grips the party.

Oddly I think there are some signs that the fever will break over the next few years. First there is nothing more likely to motivate a political course change than failure. Losing an election sucks. And in the four years since Donald Trump took office in 2017 the GOP has lost the House, the Senate and the Presidency. I see little reason to expect this trend to reverse while the party remains loyal to Trump and the fringe elements he has emboldened. Which in turn raises the question; how long is a party going to be content with losing elections? How long can it expect people to support a party that appears bent on becoming a fringe regional party with no plan to seriously compete on a national basis?

Secondly Trump's own prospects are not all that shiny. He faces huge financial difficulties as his personal and business brand have become toxic. Most of his businesses appear to be losing money and he is heavily in debt. After fending off multiple civil lawsuits by citing a dubious claim to immunity while he was a sitting president, those suits are likely to move forward now. His income taxes have been under investigation both by the IRS and state of New York. And lastly, but perhaps most seriously, Trump is the subject of multiple criminal investigations. Probably the most serious is being run by the Manhattan DA's office into large scale banking and insurance fraud. These people are not fools and are used to prosecuting high profile cases from mob bosses to Wall Street titans. They know Trump's reputation and that he is a one man full employment program for lawyers. So they have been moving at a glacial pace, quietly building their evidence. I doubt they will indict until they are 200% sure they have a solid case with all of their I's dotted and T's crossed.

Of all Trump's many "firsts" this one may go down in the history books. He seems likely to become the first US President to be criminally indicted. And if convicted he could be the first to go to prison.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Get over it. He's not even President any more. Are you still holding your breath over the Mueller Report?

"Principled conservatism" is like the Episcopal Church of US politics.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

If by that you mean we are not comfortable being members of a party increasingly OK with kooks and bigots running the show, then I plead guilty as charged. As for getting over it. Not a chance. This man has single handedly wrecked a political party I spent most of my adult life supporting and has probably ensured liberal Democratic dominance in American politics for the next two election cycles with all that likely implies.

My views of him have been expressed in detail elsewhere so I'm not going to beat that horse. It is sufficient to state that they have not changed.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

On a related note this just popped up in my feed...

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Your "principled conservatism" is a complete failure. It conserved nothing.

unreconstructed rebel said...

I continue to be amazed that Trump took out the entire Republican field without breaking a sweat.