The utter implosion of the Republican Party as the rise of Trump tears the party apart is good news for all Americans who fight for social progress and a better future for the people. Thanks to the destabilizing influence and polarizing figure of America’s biggest bigot, establishment Republicans are beginning to worry that their once-safe stranglehold on both houses of Congress is in jeopardy.
Vulnerable Republicans are terrified that voters won’t make a distinction between nominee and party, recognizing that the undercurrent of racism and xenophobia has been an important part of their party’s philosophy for decades. Monmouth Polling Director Patrick Murray notes that “a big fear for the [Republican] party is that a sizable number of their voters may simply stay home because they can’t bring themselves to support the presidential nominee. However, we simply won’t know until the nominee is set and any viable independent candidates potentially emerge.”
Republican pollster Dave Sackett of the Tarrance Group warned the House GOP that his polls “showed that a plurality of respondents — 48 percent to 40 percent — would be less likely to vote for a Republican congressional candidate or incumbent if Trump were the nominee.
In the Senate, at least five incumbent Republicans – Mark Kirk (R-IL), Ron Johnson (R-WI) Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kelly Ayote (R-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are facing difficult re-election races “under the most favorable circumstances” – and Trump’s systematic alienation of every demographic group that isn’t white Christian males is making their efforts much harder. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) won’t be able to keep his seat after he loses the nomination, opening up another space for Democrats to win big.
The surging religious extremist Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the presidential race isn’t helping matters either – Sackett also warned Speaker Ryan that Cruz “would be the biggest drag on House Republicans should he win his party’s nomination” due to his rigid adherence to ultraconservative ideology.
Under Republican leadership, our Congress has ceased to function as their members actively ignore their constituents in a rabid crusade to undermine President Obama’s agenda at every turn. They’ve brought the process of government to a standstill, making the most basic of legislative duties like passing a budget a drawn-out partisan battle, which has earned them the lowest approval rating in American history, and it’s stayed low – currently at 12%. It’s far past time we took back our country from these obstructionist ideologues and start the wheels of progress back up again. Getting out the vote for 2016 has never been more urgent; we must strike while the striking is good, lest we be stuck with another four years of a do-nothing Congress.