The GOP Fight: "Trumpism" v. Republicanism

The relentless rise of Donald Trump has thrown the Republican Party into complete disarray. Potential outcomes for the core of the GOP are looking increasingly dire. As panelists on this weekend’s “Face the Nation” described it: “Pigs are still in the air here. More to come. They’re launching right now.”

Many Republicans are standing firm against the front-runner, with members of Congress refusing to support Trump and even actively campaigning to block his nomination.

Mitt Romney, the GOP’s presidential candidate in 2012, has framed the central battle in his party as “Trumpism” against Republicanism.  GOP voters are realistically facing a choice between Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

The irony here: Views espoused by Ted Cruz — and by extension a host of establishment Republicans and Tea Party members — don't fall far from Trumpism. By isolating Trump, it obscures their suspect policies.



Gov. John Kasich is on the margins and forcefully told both “Meet the Press” and “Face the Nation” this weekend that he truly believes in his chances to win the Republican nomination.

Unfortunately for the Ohio Governor, as executive editor of the National Review, Reihan Salam explained: “It is impossible for him to win. And the idea that he is going to be the one coming out of a brokered convention is just — it just defies comprehension.”

Romney elaborated on what he calls Trumpism. It’s about “racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity, threats and violence,” adding: “I am repulsed by each and every one of these.”

Whereas Trump does have a plurality of delegates and is likely to arrive in Cleveland with a strong lead, establishment Republicans are by and large not lining up behind him.

Furthermore, his favorability rating among registered voters is low, at 33.6%, compared to an unfavorable rating of 62.6%, according to HuffPost Pollster. More worrisome for the GOP, this unfavorability rating has been steadily increasing in the new year.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has said the Republican Party will rupture if Trump is the nominee: “I believe Donald Trump would be an absolute disaster for the Republican Party, destroy conservatism as we know it. We would get wiped out.”

While Hillary Clinton isn’t widely liked either, it is difficult to see enough people coming out to vote for Trump in a general election, unless his favorability suddenly shoots through the roof.

It’s almost impossible to fathom what he could do or say for that to happen. GOP leaders have made that calculation and are organizing a concerted effort to block Trumpism from overriding the “traditional” conservative values of the Republican Party.

They hope to field a candidate they deem able to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Will they be successful in their anti-Trump campaign? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess, but so far it looks fairly unlikely.

To secure the nomination Trump needs around 54% of the remaining delegates. Last Tuesday, he picked up 60% of available delegates -- he is solidly on track.

4 comments about "The GOP Fight: "Trumpism" v. Republicanism".
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  1. Neil Mahoney from Mahoney/Marketing, March 22, 2016 at 1:24 p.m.

    Trump should turn his support over to Cruz.  That would really drive the GOP Old Guard, ultra-libs and the drive-by media crazy.  Neil Mahoney

  2. Philip Rosenstein from Law360 replied, March 22, 2016 at 1:45 p.m.

    That would be incredible, though I have a feeling Trump doesn't play second fiddle to anyone, and especially not to Ted Cruz. Interesting point, however.

  3. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, March 22, 2016 at 1:51 p.m.

    The Republican party needs to address the main source of the appeal of Trump (and to a certain extent Sanders): the public's frustration that Washington does not seem capable of dealing with and resolving the major issues of the day.

    This is evidenced by the unfavorable rating given to congress by over 85% of the population. The source of Washington's ineffectiveness can ultimately be traced back to the existence of "career politicians" (referred to by the euphemism of "the establishment") who will say and do anything to get re-elected. Until this is fixed, the public's frustration will only get worse. 

  4. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 23, 2016 at 10:35 a.m.

    It appears that a lot of mainstream "country club" Republicans are still in denial.

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