My initial assessment of the calls by many prominent #FreeTheDelegates supporters to oust Donald Trump at the GOP convention may have been mistaken. I’ve been saying that it would be a mistake because the party is rallying behind Trump. I had assumed that the majority, which is comprised of the same go-along-to-get-along folks that gave us John McCain and Mitt Romney, would fall in line with Trump regardless of how bombastic or liberal he became. A new poll shows that there may be much more passion against Trump than I realized.
When one thinks Republican, they think Texas. This election will likely mark four decades since the state has voted for a Democrat. With Trump’s position on immigration, Texas should be one of the first states to go all-in for him as the nominee. Instead, only 36.8% want him. That’s great compared to 29.7% wanting Hillary Clinton and 2.6% wanting Gary Johnson, but the scary part for Trump is that 31.0% are unsure or want “someone else.”
To put that into perspective, Mitt Romney was at 57% in 2012.
Establishment tool Karl Rove may have had an explanation back in 2013 when he said that 40% of the Latino vote in Texas goes to Republicans. That’s not going to happen with Trump regardless of how many times he says, “The Mexicans love me.”
On the other hand, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since many are saying that Trump should be ousted, others are jumping on that bandwagon rather than accept the liberal policies of Trump. Another explanation could be the voting motivation. In the poll, the most important issue for undecided voters was “honest and integrity” at 34.0% following by “the economy and jobs” at 24.6%. With choices like Trump and Clinton, it’s easy to see why undecided voters are so skeptical.
My preference would be for Trump to implode and a universally accepted coup (or an outright withdraw by Trump) takes place within the current rules. In such a situation, Ted Cruz would be the nominee. My second option until seeing the recent trends and this poll was for a third-party conservative to run with a very specific 7-state plan to victory. As things continue to get worse for Trump and nearly half of Republicans would vote for someone other than him, I’m more comfortable with a coup. A third-party conservative would need to emerge in the next week to be viable.
The fourth option, if the Republican party cannot be saved, is to start a new party. I’m not looking forward to those prospects because it would mean that either Trump or Hillary Clinton are occupying the White House for the next four years, but if that’s what it has to be, we’re ready.
At the end of the day, it’s still Trump’s race to lose. All he has to do is not mess up and he should sale through the convention relatively unscathed with a reluctantly united party behind him. Unfortunately, the likely outcome of that scenario is a Clinton Presidency.
Photo by Gage Skidmore