Republicans might regret their continued support of Donald Trump, but they sure as hell aren’t going to stop supporting him. And that’s why they reportedly feel like “prisoners.”
Trump’s behavior over the last three and half years has been atrocious and decidedly unpresidential. His actions have now resulted in increased social upheaval, the deaths of nearly 160,000 Americans due to a pandemic he chose to ignore, and an economic recession. In addition, the military is turning against him and America’s reputation abroad is in shambles. Yet, with the exception of Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), most Republicans still support Trump. Even Russian bounties to kill American soldiers isn’t enough for Republicans to turn their backs on Trump.
Of course, that’s put them in a very bad spot heading into election season. They need the support of Trump’s base, but they are losing it everywhere else. Thus, they feel trapped.
“Republicans see themselves as prisoners” the Washington Post reports.
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Indeed, Trump’s approval ratings have fallen in the last month and he is losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in the battleground states. Biden has even tied Trump in Texas with some polls even showing him in the lead.
But despite that — and the fact that several vulnerable Republican incumbents are losing in the polls in states across the country, including Colorado, Maine, and Arizona — Republicans still refuse to abandon Trump.
“I continue to believe that there’s really no political upside to running away from [Trump],” former GOP aide Brendan Buck says. “You gain nothing and you raise the ire of not just the president but people who support him.”
The problem is that Trump’s base is not the majority of the country. To win an election, Republicans need independent voters. They also need suburban women voters. But Trump is slipping with both groups at a time when Democratic voters are more determined than ever to oust him.
“He’s got 40 percent of the country completely enthralled with him,” GOP pollster Frank Luntz said. “This is not a lexicon that gets you elected. This is a lexicon that gets you to 45 percent and not more.”
Republicans would be better off demonstrating that they have a spine by standing up to Trump. But it’s already too late for that, which means they are stuck as prisoners until the voters send them home in disgrace in November.
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