There is an unbelievably slim chance that Republicans will win the 2016 election. The electoral calculus has a strong liberal bias, and the threat of Donald Trump running a third-party presidential campaign is an existential threat to the idea of a Republican Presidency in the ’10s decade.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has maintained a stoically calm demeanor recently as he scrambles to shepherd his flock into general election relevancy, but he would certainly not be on television assuring the media that Trump would never run as a third-party candidate if he did not fear that Trump would.
Props go to Jeb Bush, of course, for entering the race early and attempting to set a centrist, rational tone for the primary season. It was honorable, but Donald Trump has hijacked the polling and drunk-driven the GOP back to the unelectable Far Right.
The Donald is only the tip of the stress-iceberg for Priebus, however, as the Fox News debate on August 6 promises to be a shit show of plummeting candidate approval ratings and a pyrrhic victory for the debate’s supposed winner. Backstabbing insults, wildly delusional anti-Obama rhetoric and offensive ethnophobic controversy are inevitable in such a crowded Republican field, and discussion of whether or not the candidates’ hyperbole was appropriate or even within the realm of human decency will dominate news cycles in the coming weeks while the swing states will continue turning deeper shades of blue on the electoral map.
The GOP itself published a 2013 autopsy after exhaustively researching the demographically ignorant spiral of irrelevance it has become, and rereading it today makes it obvious that the GOP has not done any of the soul searching that the report suggested.
But even if the Republican presidential candidates were not clowning as spigots of venomous subnationalism (the Republican frontrunner is at the top specifically because his are the most iconically ethnocentric world views) does the GOP have a chance at an electoral victory in November 2016?
Remember that Obama won two electoral landslides, in which North Carolina and Indiana alone deserved the distinction of being actual swing states. Along with the 2010 census-driven electoral reshuffling, they bumped Mitt Romney’s electoral score to 206 from John McCain’s 173, but the GOP is still far from the 270 votes necessary to win. And even assuming that Trump does not run a narcissistic third-party spoiler campaign, the electoral path for a Republican win in the general election is virtually nonexistent.
For a visual aid ditch the red-state/blue-state map for one skewed to account for population density and it is obvious in which direction the political winds are blowing. Large metropolises vote very liberally, even in conservative states, and the US population is urbanizing dramatically.
Even more concerning for the GOP is that the next generation of swing states projected into the 2020 and ’24 elections will include Arizona, Georgia, Montana, and possibly even electoral glutton Texas- all red states desperately needed merely to pass the two-hundred electoral vote mark- due significantly to city and Hispanic population growth.
But here in 2015 our electoral map is already a nightmare for the GOP and has been for both of Obama’s elections. In the unlikely miracle scenario of the eventual Republican nominee flipping Virginia, Ohio, and Florida back to red the Republican candidate still loses. Unless the Democratic nominee eats a baby or commits some other horrible societal faux pas on national television Republicans are going to lose their third consecutive election.
So good luck to Jeb Bush and his strategy to present himself as the only candidate capable of winning the general election because the Republican base fawning over Donald Trump’s real talk racism simply will not accept the RINO type of Republican who is capable of winning general elections. Unless things change dramatically, which President Obama’s recent string of legacy-cementing political victories makes unlikely, Republicans are going to lose another electoral landslide next November.
Image via The Guardian