The Republican establishment has stepped up its warnings that the GOP cannot win in November unless it nominates a respectable establishment candidate. No “outsider” need apply.
The same thing was said to promote the nominations of Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob Dole. That alone should warn us that the establishment is not very good at picking winners.
If 2015 is any indication, 2016 looks like it will be the Year of the Outsider. It has been obvious for months that outsiders such as Trump, Cruz and Carson have a majority of the Republican vote (64% in the last poll before Christmas). Even in the Democratic Party, establishment favorite Hillary Clinton has faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders.
This desire for an outsider, someone who is not part of the Washington inner circle and who will not settle for “business as usual,” is not found just among those who are strongly partisan. It is also seen in the polls matching various Republicans against Hillary Clinton, polls which include a much broader electorate.
The most recent Rasmussen poll shows Trump and Clinton in a virtual tie, confirming a CNN poll taken a few days earlier. A series of pre-Christmas polls put Ted Cruz ahead of Clinton or tied. Ben Carson has consistently been neck-and-neck with Clinton in the polls.
And keep in mind that this has happened while the major news media have been relentlessly attacking Trump, Cruz and Carson. If anything, this media abuse may have convinced some voters that anyone so hated by the establishment may be the best choice in November.
Contrast this with Jeb Bush, who has the endorsements and the money of the GOP establishment. Bush has trailed Clinton in every recent poll.
What the comfortable Washington establishment doesn’t want to admit is that voters are hungry for a real change in government. Only one-quarter say that the United States is headed in the right direction. Majorities as high as 68% have said that they want the next president to follow policies different from those of Obama.
Americans are tired of Obama’s anti-growth agenda. High taxes, big deficits, and tight regulation are holding back the economy.
Obama’s foreign policy has empowered our enemies, from ISIS to Iran to Russia. Terrorist attacks have returned to American soil.
The laws and the Constitution have been routinely violated. Planned Parenthood has been funded. Gun ownership has been threatened.
Is it any wonder that Americans want a change?
Will these Americans vote for a Republican with a record of supporting Obama on amnesty, ObamaCare, big spending, education and other key policies?
The establishment’s argument for nominating one of their own cannot be defended as a pragmatic way to win the election. It is really about who will control the Republican Party. Will it be a handful of insiders, or millions of Republican voters?