It's not just the unpopularity of the two leading candidates - Donald Trump or Ted Cruz - among the general electorate. The Republicans are about to lose on the issues as well.
Via Daniel Drezner's twitter, I saw this:
He links to a Pew Research poll on immigration as a topic, and the results were mind-blowing.
Along party lines, Democrats are clearly in favor of immigration while Republicans still only show over a third of their membership in favor (that means two-thirds of Republicans do not view it in a positive light).
In terms of generational views, the article shows how Millenials and Generation Xers now show overwhelming support for immigrants and immigration reform. But the real key here is this first poll: we're around 60 percent who see immigrants and immigration as a strength and would likely support reforms to keep it going.
That means whichever party is OPPOSED to immigration reform is going to have a rough go of it winning over 60 percent of the electorate.
|62 percent oppose a border wall,|
While Trump's made the most splash promoting that damn wall of his - which the Pew Research notes is massively unpopular - the key thing to note about this Presidential cycle is how the whole Republican Party platform had been and remains fervently anti-immigrant. There's been other issues at the debates - which foreign nation to bomb, which tax cut to favor, which schools to close, which social safety nets to slash - but nearly every GOP candidate had come out hard against immigration. Even the ones expected to "play nice" on the topic - Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Cruz just on personal connections to Hispanics (a key ethnic group affected by this) - had to avoid the questions or come out opposed to any kind of reform solution for our current immigration issues.
Look at this poll regarding that Trump Wall: Both Cruz and Trump supports favor building up border defenses (costly and won't work), numbers which go against that top Overall Voter number showing two-thirds of the nation oppose such a plan. Kasich's supporters are currently showing as the most pro-immigration of the remaining GOP candidates, but even HE can't shake the fact his party is adamantly against reforms on this (also, he's in no position to win the nomination right now: he's merely in it to keep Trump from winning delegates outright).
Trump's made so much noise pushing that Wall of his, it won't matter if it's either Trump or Cruz winning this July at the Cleveland convention. The entire GOP is in trouble if they campaign at a national level against immigration reform (among other issues that will turn the general electorate against them). The problem will be one of degrees: if it's Trump they'll lose everybody, if it's Cruz they'll lose MOSTLY everybody.
The Republicans have been so vocal against immigrants that any attempt to shift back to the center on this issue would be greeted with disbelief and disdain.
What other issue can the Republicans honestly run on that would counter the votes they'll lose over immigration reform? Their "tax cuts for the rich" plan will not find a safe haven this year of anti-Establishment anger. If they think running against gays and transgender will win over voters, they're wrong. The Republicans do not have a sane foreign policy platform - "Bomb ISIL" "Boycott China" and "Nuke Iran" are not winning stances with moderates/centrists who prefer working with allies - at the moment.
If Republicans think "repeal Obamacare" is going to impress anybody, it's only going to get their own voters nowadays. Have you noticed ANYBODY making noise about repealing Obamacare lately? That hasn't been a major topic: we've gotten to the point where the fight to repeal it has fled to the fringes.
No, let's be blunt: Immigration has been one of the top three issues of this 2016 election cycle, and the Republicans are poised to lose big because of their opposition to it. Maybe not with the House elections, but definitely with the Presidential race, and likely with the Senate races in EVERY state - even Red ones - where pro-immigration forces are in play.