Calmes: The biggest losers — the GOP and Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s campaign for president has given the GOP new life in the wake of the 2012 election.
The Republican party has had difficulty for more than a decade getting beyond the primaries (remember, Newt Gingrich was an independent at the time he ran for president in 1996). Trump has given the GOP a reason to go back to the basics of the party by presenting a clear-cut, down-the-middle and anti-establishment front.
For this reason, Republicans are now hopeful that winning their nomination is the way to reclaim the White House and end the GOP’s losing streak as president.
I mean, the last time a Republican won the White House was in 1992, when George H.W. Bush beat Robert Dole by only a few thousand votes. So far, this race is just like the 1992 contest — a dead heat.
If Trump can pull it out, I suspect the GOP will get a second stab at the White House and will get its first win in six decades.
The biggest losers (in my opinion) have been the party. And it has nothing to do with Trump.
The GOP has now spent more than a decade trying to get back to the center, to the party of Reagan, to the party of Eisenhower. This time, the GOP will lose because it got too much right instead of too much wrong.
After losing the presidency in 2008, the GOP got too much wrong and a lot of things got wrong.
First, the party lost its center. The center of the GOP for decades was the Northeast. But now, at its worst, the party is in the South with no center to speak of. In the past, the party had a center in Pennsylvania, but it’s a different story now. The GOP had a center in New Jersey, but now it has an empty center in the South. For the first time, the party has no base in the Northeast (except for Delaware) and now the party is looking North.
Second, the GOP will lose because it gave up the Reagan/Eisenhower formula for winning in the South. The Reagan/Eisen