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GOP Ship Sinking With Trump as Their Anchor

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Washington Post Editorial Calls for Republicans to Avoid “Moral Poorhouse;” Latino Voter Down Ballot Trends in FL and NV Spell Danger for GOP 

Leading political observers and Republican pollsters are highlighting how the Republican Party is on the wrong side of several important developments coming to a head in 2016.

With Donald Trump moving ever-closer to securing the Republican nomination, a new Washington Post editorial makes the case that Trump’s fellow Republicans will be faced with a test of their basic morals and principles depending on whether they rally around – or reject – the candidate as their standard-bearer. Meanwhile, several trends in the Latino battleground states of Florida and Nevada represent dangerous down-ballot developments for the GOP as well.

Below, we excerpt quotes highlighting several trends:

Washington PostEditorial: “The Steady Downward Spiral of the Republican Party in 2016”: “Who knows why Republican politicians equivocate about the most repugnant political phenomenon in recent American history. Opportunism? Cluelessness? A sincere wish to influence the process for the better? Any of those, or a combination, would be preferable to a fourth alternative: actual approval of what Mr. Trump stands for — though plainly there is some of that, too. Someday, everyone involved in American politics will be called upon to account for his or her behavior during Mr. Trump’s run for the White House. The Republican Party chairman, Reince Priebus, forged one route months ago when he cheerfully pronounced: ‘Winning is the antidote to a lot of things.’ It will be instructive to watch which politicians now follow Mr. Priebus to the moral poorhouse, and which have the gumption to chart a different course.”

Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, “Republicans are Digging Themselves into a Deeper Hole With Latinos (Again)”:“Barely three years after the 2012 election led Republicans to vow to fix their problems with Latino voters, they are on the verge of nominating someone who (at best!) rules out legalization for the 11 million forever (Ted Cruz), or (at worst!) has promised to carry out mass deportations and describes Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers (you know who I’m talking about). But it’s possible that Republicans may be creating still another problem for themselves with Latino voters on top of all of that: The failure by the GOP-controlled Congress to help Puerto Rico restructure its debt. In recent years the Puerto Rican population of Florida has exploded, potentially giving Dems an added advantage in the electoral college map.”

Republican pollster Glen Bolger“My party is bad at math right now … We can’t win a national election with 59 percent of the white vote, which is what Romney got, so we need to improve elsewhere. Florida is a perfect example. It, along with Ohio, is ground zero for the presidential campaign. Republicans have to understand that sticking a finger in the eye of Latino voters is a way to guarantee electoral losses.”

Republican political consultant Mike Madrid as quoted in Mother Jones“Why Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Could Spell Doom for the California GOP”“You would hope by now that things would have changed,” says Mike Madrid, a GOP political consultant who is an expert in Latino voter behavior. But with the rise of Trump, he adds, “I don’t think that it is going to.” Trump has an 87 percent unfavorability rating among California Latinos, “which is extraordinary!” Madrid says. “I have never seen negatives that high. I don’t think that the Republican Party has it in its DNA to adjust to the cultural changes,” Madrid continues. “And the smaller the party becomes, the more rigid and homogenous it becomes, and the less it has the capacity to reach out.”

Patricia Mazzei in the Miami Herald, “Will Donald Trump drive Miami Cuban Americans from GOP? New poll says yes: “Donald Trump is the catalyst who could force a decisive break between Miami-Dade County’s influential Cuban-American voters and the Republican Party, a new poll has found. Local Cuban Americans dislike Trump so much — and are increasingly so accepting of renewed U.S.-Cuba ties pushed by Democratic President Barack Obama — that Trump’s likely presidential nomination might accentuate the voters’ political shift away from the GOP…”

Republican pollster Dario Moreno:“We’ve been seeing demographic changes in this [Cuban-American] community since 2004 … With Trump, the real danger is that he’s going to accelerate this realignment in Miami.”

Republican pollster Whit Ayers“The increased migration from Puerto Rico to Florida takes existing trends in the growth of the Hispanic vote and accelerates them … It makes Florida even more challenging to win without substantially improved support among Hispanic voters. Florida is obviously an extremely close swing state, where any significant increase on one side of the ledger makes a huge difference.”

Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston, “Democrats Double Republicans in Voter Reg Last Month, Ominous Sign for GOP”:“I have said and written many times that registration is not destiny. But those numbers mean something — and 2016 is starting to look like 2012 and 2008 in Nevada, presidential years in which the Democrats did very well. The latest numbers show the Democrats padded their statewide lead by about 5,000 voters in April, out-registering Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. This came despite the herculean efforts of the conservative registration outfit, Engage NV, which is trying to make up for the biennial ineptitude of the state GOP and a surging Democratic Party eager to atone for the 2014 wipeout … Smart Republicans are worried about this trend, whether it is caused by Donald Trump or the Reid Machine or some combination thereof. The GOP can hold out hope that the growing nonpartisan registration, now at almost 19 percent, might favor their slate. But as Harry Reid seeks to go out with a bang, these numbers indicate the Democrats’ chances of winning Nevada in the presidential race, keeping Reid’s seat, taking two competitive congressional seats from the GOP and turning the Legislature blue again are not pie in the sky.”