It will take Republicans decades to overcome the distrust Trump has sowed
As we are coming to the end of the most divisive, despicable and gutter-ridden of American Presidential elections, the odds suggest that, thankfully, Donald Trump will not be the next president of the United States.
If Hillary Clinton gets elected, it will be only the second time in modern politics that a full two-term incumbent President has been followed into the White House by a candidate of the same party.
When the above is coupled with the fact that the Democratic candidate is generally seen as ‘dishonest’ and as having a ‘poor character’, widely ‘disliked’ and with political baggage that was sure to sink her campaign, the Republicans will know that this election really was theirs to lose.
That the Republicans are now odds-on likely to lose is, simply, because they picked the worst possible candidate they could have chosen. How can we be sure of that? By reading the Republican autopsy report on why they lost the 2012 election.
After the defeat of Mitt Romney to Barack Obama, the Republicans did an extensive root and branch breakdown of the reason they lost the campaign. The 100-page report and the accompanying ‘Growth and Opportunity Project’ was clear on what next time they needed to do to win.
The report presented by Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus who succinctly stated that a fundamental message from the analysis was that the party would:
“require a softer tone and broader outreach, include a stronger push for African-American, Latino, Asian, women and gay voters.”
“to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.”
How right they were, how wrong they are now
Fast forward to today’s election and the story of the election is shaping up to be that, as in 2008 and 2012 the black community came out in record number to help elect Obama, the Hispanic community is coming out in record numbers in 2016 to push Hillary over the line.
In 2008 and 2012 it was hope of the first black president that drove the black vote. This time, the Hispanic community has been ‘politicised’ by hatred of Donald Trump.
In a rare example of political karma, it was at the launch of his presidential campaign on 16 June, 2015, Donald Trump first stated:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Now, at the end of the campaign, it appears to be the very demographic he demonised that are turning out in record numbers to prevent him becoming President.
In the key state of Florida, which all polls have on a knife edge, early voting with Hispanics has been very high, with a study showing as much as 36 per cent of Hispanics who have voted early had not voted in the previous elections and felt compelled to vote this time. In 2012 more Hispanics did not vote than did, something that looks to be overturned this election.
In another key state, Nevada, the early voting among Hispanics has been so high that it already been called as ‘over’ for Republicans by some polling experts. If Florida and Nevada go to Hillary Clinton, it would near impossible for Donald Trump to win overall.
The longer term damage to the Republican Party was highlighted by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in June; he feared Donald Trump would be to the Hispanic community what ‘Goldwater’ was for black voters and the Republican party.
In 1964 Barry Goldwater’s conservative views led to generations of black voters seeing their natural home with the Democrats rather than the Republicans.
If predictions are right, it may be a rare time in our lives that we see by sowing the seeds of division and hatred Donald Trump inadvertently grew the very movement that would ultimately lead to his losing.
Let’s hope so.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.