New data from a Huffington Post/YouGov survey shows that Republicans no longer think their decision on Donald Trump as their candidate was a smart decision.
According to the survey, 19 percent more Republicans wish their party had selected another candidate out of the original batch of 17 so long as it wasn’t Donald Trump. Thirty-five percent of GOP voters still believe that Trump was the GOP’s best option compared to 54 percent who believe that he was not.
In June, the same poll showed that 44 percent of the respondents believed that Trump was the best choice and 44 percent believed that he was not. This shows a continued decline in the popularity of Donald Trump amongst his own support base.
Perhaps a portion of the electorate represented by this data believed that Donald Trump would moderate his tone and shift back to the center after the primaries were over. But now that the reality has set in that Donald Trump is both incapable of transitioning away from his incendiary rhetoric, it would appear that the GOP has buyers’ remorse.
The Definition of Insanity
The problem for the GOP, however, is deeper than just their ridiculous decision to support Donald Trump. The more concerning problem for the party elite must be that, if they actually had a “do over”, they would still get the same exact results as they got from the primaries
The data from the Huffington Post/YouGov survey shows that even despite the turmoil caused by their nominee, the Republican electorate is no closer to coalescing around another choice. When asked who they would rather see as their party’s candidate if they actually go a do-over, 29 percent still chose Trump. The closest second was, again, Ted Cruz, coming in at 15 percent and Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, receiving 14 percent. All of the remaining candidates received less than 10 percent.
The Party’s Over?
This presents a significant problem for the GOP moving forward. Their party is split and the strongest coalition inside the party is the group that–even after the ridiculousness of the campaign so far–still would choose Donald Trump.
What does that say about the GOP? Even though they are clearly on a path that will take them the way of the Whigs and the Federalists, they would still inevitably remain on the path even if given a second chance to make a course correction.
The feeling of inevitable doom must, at this point, be looming in the minds of party leadership. And this is as it should be. It is because of their leadership–past and present–that the party has devolved from being the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Trump.
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