It is no secret that Donald Trump has his share of detractors within his own party. From last year, amid the primaries, there has been a steady movement to derail Trump’s campaign.
After the Republican National Convention, at a time when the parties normally seek and obtain more unity, the voices of the detractors have become louder, and more importantly, less anonymous. During the past two weeks, seemingly on a daily basis, detractors are coming out of the shadows and either have disavowed Trump or outright endorsed and said that they would actively campaign for Hillary Clinton.
This week, the a string of self-inflicted wounds, reports have surfaced that certain in the Republican Party and also some members of the Republican National Committee are actually preparing for Donald Trump dropping out of the race.
To be fair, Trump, himself, has given no indication that dropping out is in the cards. Quite to the contrary, he has been aggressively campaigning, holding rallies, and to the surprise of many, aggressively fundraising — his totals for July were widely heralded as impressive both in its total and in that the majority was raised from small donors.
On Friday, Politico reported on The Politico Caucus, a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states. Politico reports that:
“The majority of GOP insiders, 70 percent, said they want Trump to drop out of the race and be replaced by another Republican candidate — with many citing Trump’s drag on Republicans in down-ballot races. But those insiders still think it’s a long-shot Trump would actually end his campaign and be replaced by another GOP candidate.
The Caucus members completed an anonymous survey. A New Hampshire Republican stated that “I’d rather take our chances with nearly anyone else than continue with this certain loser who will likely cost the Senate and much more.”
A Florida Republican said:
“The effect Trump is having on down-ballot races has the potential to be devastating in November. His negative image among Hispanics, women and independents is something that could be devastating to Republicans. Trump’s divisive rhetoric to the Hispanic community at large has the potential to be devastating for years to come.”
Not only has Trump given no indication of dropping out, but should he do so, it would leave the Republican Party with a herculean task in voting in a new nominee as they navigate through the complicated process that is set forth in the Republican Party’s rulebook. Additionally, as much as insiders wish Trump would drop out, the prospect of forcing him out is one that admittedly comes with a number of significant landmines, starting with the fact that they would be substituting their desires for that of the Republican primary voters.
This was not lost on the Republican insiders. An Ohio Republican said,
“Here is the quandary I find myself in … While I would love for Trump to drop out and anyone else to take the mantle, that kind of talk will only harden his supporters. We cannot let them think we stole this from them. There has never been a better example of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t.’”
Also, when asked about whether they believed that Trump would drop out on his own, a majority of The Politico Caucus — 58% — said that Trump would definitely stay in the race through the November election.
The overarching issue for the Republican Party, indeed, appears to be Trump’s supporters who make up a very large portion of Republican voters. However, the rift between ardent Trump supporters and the Republican establishment and traditional conservatives is very unlikely to be resolved in this election or even the next one.
You can read the full text of Politico’s report on the results here.