The Republican Problem Goes Beyond Trump

Trump grabs most of the attention right now, but the Republican problem shows up in the popularity of other candidates as well.

Mark Horne argued passionately that, rather than “damaging” the Republican Party, Trump is simply the damage that was caused by others. If he’s right, it is worth pointing out that Trump is not the only damage we are seeing. The Republican problem is demonstrated in other candidates.

This was pointed out in an article in The Hill: “Outsiders take over the GOP.”

Outsiders who have never before held political office are dominating the race for the Republican presidential nomination. 

Donald Trump is the GOP front-runner, while businesswoman Carly Fiorina is surging after a strong performance in last week’s debate. 

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is also showing strength, and is a candidate to watch in the Iowa caucuses, where he is outperforming former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. 

Conservatives are thrilled with the developments. 

“This is a paradigm shift,” conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace told The Hill. “The base of the party is in open revolt. We’re watching a political party dissolve. It’s a civil war and the GOP as it’s constructed may not survive.”

 

Others think Republican voters will eventually coalesce around a more traditional GOP candidate — perhaps Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). 

They believe Trump’s rise is a product of his celebrity and a media frenzy that will ultimately fizzle. They doubt that Carson and Fiorina will be able to compete in the fundraising fight, or pull together the political operation to make a deep run through the primaries.



But for now, the anti-establishment wing of the GOP is on the upswing. 

Fiorina is rising in polls, moving into the top tier of candidates in Iowa and New Hamshire, according to two surveys released this week.

A new survey from Public Policy Polling showed Carson has pulled into a second-place tie in Iowa with Walker, who for months held a big lead over the field in the Hawkeye State. A Suffolk University poll released this week showed voters in Iowa believe Carson matched Rubio as one of the winners in prime-time debate.

Both are embracing their outsider status. 

This article brings up a good point. Trump is so bold and loud—is such a headline grabber—that we could easily think he represents something that is completely unique and doesn’t apply to any other person. But the truth is that he is one of three outliers—three “outsiders”—who are doing far better than anyone would have expected. The Republican base is truly sick of watching the Republican Establishment get elected by them and immediately start working with the President and the Democrats against their interests.

Personally, I don’t want any of these people to be the next President (though I may change my mind as I learn more about them). But I am thrilled to see the Republican Establishment being told to take a hike. They should take a long one… off a short pier.