Even when one GOP member posed direct questions about Trump’s support, the staffers conducting the briefing refused to come clean.
In short, they are not only living Trump’s lie about the last election, they’re also spinning their own lie about the next election.
It’s the type of self-deluded miscalculation that could truly undercut their chances in critical swing districts, particularly as the party lurches to the right in an attempt to keep Trumpers engaged and activated for the midterms.
As I wrote in a post several weeks back, it’s impossible to imagine the GOP hard-core embracing the political fringes of Trump’s base without it somehow disrupting its relationship with high-propensity college-educated voters. It’s a group that already has continued to move away from the party in the past two election cycles. And yes, I’m assuming that “core districts” likely refers to swingy suburban districts.
In Georgia, for instance, Biden’s win was largely powered by the shift among voters in the suburbs, college graduates, and high-income earners, according to turnout data from The New York Times. Here’s how they moved from 2016 to 2020:
- High-income earners: +7 points more Democratic
- Majority college graduates: +6 points more Democratic
- Suburban: +6 points more Democratic
Another metric that seems to support what is reported in the Post is Trump’s favorable rating nationally among independent college graduates, which is roughly 15 points underwater (17 points to be specific).
To be clear, the lack of specificity of the Post’s reporting on the internal GOP data along with the fact that it’s simply too early to game out which districts will be in play make it impossible to draw too many conclusions.
But the GOP’s lurch rightward has been both real and undeniably overt, and Trump’s unpopularity with suburban voters is also verifiably real. Bottom line: If Republican leaders are lying to their conference about Trump’s overall drag on their candidates, that can’t be good news for whatever strategerie they are planning for 2022.