In 2016, the Republican Party was victorious, holding on to both chambers of Congress and winning the White House.
However, in the aftermath of that election cycle, Republicans seem to have delusions about winning elections.
They now believe in the Trump formula: ignoring polls, disregarding red flags and moving farther away from the center. If they don’t remedy their errors soon, they will be in drowning in a blue wave come November.
The biggest fallacy Republicans are making is ignoring the polls.
In 2016, the polls got it wrong, it was an embarrassment for many professional pollsters and pundits across the country, and it fueled the feeling among the right that the pollsters were biased against Trump.
They weren’t; people just didn’t weigh in all the factors.
Polls are usually accurate, and recent polls for special elections prove that.
For instance, a Monmouth poll found that a special election for a House seat in a Republican +10 district between Troy Balderson (R) and Danny O’Connor (D) was a dead heat, with Balderson winning 44 percent to O’Connor’s 43. Balderson won the election by 1.5 percent.
It is critical that Republicans respect the polls again; they are normally excellent indicators for how a party will perform.
This in mind, the generic ballot has Democrats winning 49 percent to Republicans’ 39 percent.
This means 49 percent of the country is more likely to vote Democrat to 39 percent who will vote for a Republican.
This should terrify Republicans, but the polls are “rigged,” so nobody is going to do anything like form a clear and concise campaign message or anything like that.
When the polls are right, however, Republicans still act like nothing is wrong.
For instance, in the race mentioned above, the party should be alarmed by the overnight evaporation of its 10-point lead.
Instead, the reaction was to ridicule the Democrats for saying it was a moral victory and calling the media biased for saying this is a bad sign for Republicans.
Instead of finding good candidates to run for office to avoid losing such huge electoral margins, Republicans nominate more Roy Moores and pretend that nothing is wrong when their candidate loses or barely wins.
To stay in office, Republicans need to appeal to moderates and not just their base.
Trump has been the deciding factor in multiple congressional and gubernatorial primaries across the country, with nearly all candidates he endorsed winning their primaries.
This is not good. Instead of trying to appeal to their districts, Republicans have decided that they should appeal to the president. This damages the party’s image with moderates.
Trump is not popular with this electorate group, carrying only a 32 percent approval rating among them in a recent Gallup poll. This means that the man Republicans are trying to please in their primary campaigns is not popular with the people casting the deciding votes in their political districts, as moderates make up 35 percent of the country.
When Republican Ron Desantis has a campaign ad where he teaches his toddler to say, “Make America Great Again,” he’s not appealing to moderates who have genuine concerns about the direction The Republican Party is taking; he’s begging for Trump’s base to approve of him.
Ultimately all problems for the Republicans stem from one core issue.
They think they won in 2016 because people like them. The reality, though, is that they won in 2016 because people hated Hillary Clinton.