Sunday, August 28, 2016

The GOP Fears Its Future in the West

In states all across America, demographic change is changing the face of the voter base, yet the Republican Party continues to focus almost solely on pandering to right wing white Christians - many, if not most of whom are racists - and white supremacy supporters.  Now, with the rise of Donald trump, this is creating an existential danger for the GOP in the west (other than the Pacific coast states).  The problem for the GOP, of course, is that now that the party base is controlled by the Christofascist/white supremacist factions, changing the course of the party's agenda and platform is near impossible.  There's a reason that the 2016 GOP platform is the most anti-LGBT in history.  A piece in the New York Times looks at the GOP's western challenge.  Here are excerpts:
Republicans in Western states fear that Donald J. Trump could imperil their party for years to come in the country’s fastest-growing region as he repels a generation of Hispanics, Asians and younger voters who have been altering the electoral map.
Mr. Trump, with his insult-laden, culturally insensitive style of campaigning, is providing fuel for the demographic trends that are already reshaping the political composition of this once-heavily Republican territory. And now many Republicans are contemplating the possibility that states like Colorado or Nevada could soon become the next California: once competitive but now unwinnable in presidential contests.
In few places are the party’s woes over their nominee more immediate than here in Arizona, a state that has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate only once in the last 68 years.
Recent polls show Hillary Clinton is close to tying Mr. Trump here. And her campaign has responded by teaming up with local Democrats on a statewide get-out-the-vote operation, which has grown to 160 staff members across 20 offices.
While flipping Arizona has been a Democratic fantasy for years — and one that Clinton supporters acknowledge remains quite difficult — their efforts to register and recruit voters are part of a longer-term plan to capitalize on the Republican Party’s vulnerabilities with younger and minority voters.
Nonwhites are growing as a share of the electorate faster in the West than they are elsewhere. For the first time, minorities in 2012 accounted for at least 30 percent of the eligible voting population in Arizona, Nevada and Alaska — all states where Republicans currently hold top statewide offices.
The demographics were already daunting. But many Republicans now say Mr. Trump is only accelerating the flight of minority voters to the Democratic Party, like dry underbrush feeds an Arizona wildfire.
Asked how fellow Republicans could win election to statewide office in the West, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona offered some blunt advice: “Distance yourself from Donald Trump.” . . . . Otherwise, Mr. Flake said, “this will last decades.”
Most demographers did not believe Arizona could be truly competitive for Democrats in a presidential election until 2020 at the earliest. But Mr. Trump’s unpopularity has spawned a demographic double threat that has implications in Arizona and beyond: He is not just weak among Hispanics, but also with with educated white professionals who have moved to places like Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix in search of better jobs and a lower cost of living.
The entire West Coast is already a wasteland for Republicans. The last time one of the coastal states — with the exception of Alaska — went to a Republican nominee was California in 1988. Moreover, losses in Arizona and possibly Utah would leave Republicans safe in just Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The peril for Republicans is evident looking at the Electoral College: Those states only have a combined 13 of the total 538 electoral votes. And even in the likely event that Republicans continue to carry Utah, a win in November would yield only six more electoral votes.
[E]ven his [Trump's] supporters acknowledge what they are up against in Arizona and across the West. “I am concerned about my party going forward,” said Sean D. Reyes, Utah’s attorney general. Mr. Reyes is a Republican and backs Mr. Trump. He is also part Hispanic, Japanese and Filipino, and a Mormon.
So he was naturally taken aback when he heard Mr. Trump insult Filipinos this month. Mr. Trump told a crowd in Maine that the United States had to stop letting in “animals” from “terrorist nations,” among them the Philippines. Mr. Reyes said he called the campaign to register his displeasure.

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