The GOP is screwed

They can’t escape Trumpism, but they can’t win with it, either.

Aaron Ross Powell

--

Donald Trump is likely to lose in a couple of weeks. Once he’s out of office, the Republican Party will need to figure out what to do next, and its options are grim.

At the national level, Trumpism has never been popular. Trump’s approval ratings have stuck to the low 40s for most of his term, and when you control for partisanship (a lot of Americans will say they approve of the president of the same party, even if they have no idea what he’s actually up to), the actual level of support for what Trump represents is a good deal lower. Trump won in 2016 by a tiny margin, lost the popular vote, and benefited from running against an historically unpopular candidate. While he has his fans, the majority of Americans loathe him and the ideology and policies he stands for.

What this means is that a Republican Party overtaken by Trumpism is going to have an awfully hard time winning the presidency going forward and, with the trend towards increasing urbanization, a hard time winning Senate seats in all but the reddest of states. A Trumpist GOP will become effectively irrelevant at the national level.

Which would signal, of course, that the way forward for the party is to abandon Trumpism and position itself as more of a centrist, pro-market alternative to the Democrats. That kind of Republicanism is much more popular with the electorate, and if the Democrats fail to hold off the rising left wing of their…

--

--

Aaron Ross Powell

Host of the ReImagining Liberty podcast. Writer and political ethicist. Former think tank scholar.