Some Democrats fear that President Donald Trump, regardless of his anemic approval ratings in recent polls, could win reelection in 2020 if he aggressively fires up his base and the Democratic candidate — whoever that turns out to be — does a poor job driving turnout. But veteran pollster Stanley B. Greenberg, appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday morning, predicted that 2020 will be a disaster for Republicans and offered hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski a long list of reasons why he feels that way.
Greenberg, author of the new book “R.I.P. GOP: How the New America Is Dooming the Republicans” (which was released on September 10), stressed to Scarborough and Brzezinski that the Republican Party — rather than building a broad coalition — has been defining itself in increasingly narrow terms. “McCain Republicans” and “moderates,” Greenberg stressed, have been “driven out” of the GOP — whose base, he stressed, now consists primarily of Trumpistas, Tea Party members and Christian fundamentalist white evangelicals.
By “McCain Republicans,” Greenberg was referring to supporters of the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona. McCain, truth be told, was not all that “moderate”; he was quite conservative and described himself as a “Goldwater Republican.” But he had a reputation for being able to get things done with Democrats on a bipartisan basis. And ironically, Tea Party members considered McCain a RINO: Republican in Name Only.
By alienating “McCain Republicans” and “moderates,” Greenberg told Scarborough and Brzezinski, the GOP is causing itself to shrink — while Democrats are appealing to a much more diverse base. Women and people of color, Greenberg asserted, are leaning Democrat more and more. And a major problem for Trump, he told the “Morning Joe” hosts, is that unlike 2016, he isn’t reaching female voters in sufficient numbers.
Trump’s problems, Greenberg asserted, range from a “shift in the suburban vote” to Democrats appealing to the United States’ increasingly “multicultural identity.” Democrats, according to Greenberg, are promoting an “expansive” view of America while Republicans are not.
“The trends that I talk about in this book are accelerating,” Greenberg told Scarborough and Brzezinski. “I actually may have underestimated the scale of what’s happening…. Donald Trump is representing the last throe of an evangelical, Tea Party-dominated party…. They are now 70% of his base….It is now an anti-government, anti-immigration, observant party.”
Greenberg added that “McCain Republicans and moderates…. used to be 40% of the (Republican) Party. Now, in our latest poll, they’re 30%. That’s a ten-point drop from last year’s election…. (Trump) is consolidating Democrats. He is driving away Republican voters.”