By all accounts nothing short of a miracle will see Trump winning this election. The odds are distinctly in Hillary’s favour and have been for sometime now. Its likely they will lose seats in the Senate and House, best guess at the moment is that the Senate is a tossup and the house will be retained by the GOP, but with a greatly reduced majority. A more important question would be to speculate on the inevitable recriminations after the election within the Republican party after the election.
The best case scenario for the GOP, for reason I will shortly explain, is that Trump loses and he loses comprehensively. Hilary crushes him, taking all of the swing states and maybe one or two of the red states, like Georgia or Utah. This will leave little room for anyone to doubt the election results. Trump may dispute them, but very few beyond his inner circle will do so. It will send a very clear message to even the most demented of his supporters that by putting Trump on the ticket, you just handed the keys of the white house to Hillary. Put Trump or some similar lunatic (e.g. Ted Cruz) on the ballot paper again in 2020 and you’ll be guaranteeing not just 4 years of Hillary but 8 years. Keep on nominating unelectable retards and you’ll then get 8 years of her predecessor too (probably Elizabeth Warren or Al Franken!).
Presented with this, the old guard of the GOP will re-merge from their “undisclosed locations” and attempt to retake control of the party. I suspect two forces will battle it out, the traditional Republicans (best represented by Paul Ryan) and the monied interests/establishment (best represented by the Bush family). Its difficult to see who will win, perhaps some sort of compromise might be reached. But the chances are the Tea party and Trumpers will be squeezed out. My guess is the nomination process will be overhauled, introducing Democrat style super-delegates and requiring a candidate has the support of a certain number of elected senior officials and some past political experience. This will allow them to screen future candidates and avoid another Trump (or Ted Cruz!).
The Tea party Trumpers may run off and form their own party, but they’ll quickly become an irrelevance. They may make life difficult for the GOP in the mid term elections, but the balance of probability is they will attach very little support – Just ask Gary “Aleppo” Johnson. They might cost the GOP the odd seat in some of the tighter races, but that’s about it.
The other scenario, arguably the worst case scenario for the GOP, is Trump loses by a narrow margin. He will inevitably dispute it. Some of his more trigger happy supporters may take up arms, get annihilated by the military and police….and create the perfect excuse for why Hillary should push for tighter gun control as her first act in office. This will also allow her to paint the GOP as unamerican, cut from the same cloth as the confederates who opposed Lincoln’s election. Trump meanwhile will hang on and try to run again in 2020. This would be disastrous for the party.
There are a whole slew of Republicans, some of whom will hold their noses and vote Trump on November 8th, who despise him and everything he stands for. Others, such as the Bush family Mitt Romney and even Glen Beck will not vote for him, even if it means Hillary winning. In short there are a whole raft of characters within the party currently queuing by the fire exit, likely arguing while they wait over whose fault is that got them to this place. They will not hang around to stomach four more years of Trump. If it becomes obvious that he’s not going to go quietly, or that they will be unable to force him and his supporters out, they will open the fire exits and commence an orderly evacuation of the GOP.
It should be noted that the anti-trump wing didn’t mount a third party challenge to him this year because by the time they’d realised the danger their own gerrymandering rules (designed to stop third party challenges in red states) would have worked against them. Now they’ll have a full 2 years to the mid terms and 4 to the next presidential election to organise. They may join the democrats or the libertarians, but my guess they’ll form a new party, whom I’ll refer to as the Real Republicans, which will emerge as a new force in American politics.
Meanwhile the consequences for Trump’s GOP will be meltdown. The monied interests will inevitably jump into bed with either Hillary or this new party. With the money tap turned off the GOP officials who organise the party at the local level will jump ship as soon as their first pay-check bounces. As a result Trump’s GOP will start to unravel, imploding from within. Much of the US political machine, both GOP and democrat is fully private anyway. Wander down K-street and you’ll be tripping over Lobbyists, political strategist, spin doctors, Pollsters, campaign managers, etc. These hired guns are loyal only to the person who is paying them. Trump supporters need to understand they are fighting an election in America, where the dollar rules, not in France.
Indeed speaking of money, Trump has recently been caught by the UK Daily Telegraph (a fairly right wing newspaper owned by a pair of millionaire tax exiles) soliciting donations from Chinese businessmen, which is illegal under US election laws. So its possible a Trump GOP will essentially become even more a mouthpiece for foreign businesses, literally a 5th column within the US political system.
Fox News too, will inevitably fall in line behind this new party. If Trump thinks he’s getting a hard time now, wait till he goes through 4 years of far worse, with Fox itself leading the charge. He’ll face lawsuit and criminal investigations galore (foreign donations, his taxes, sexual misconduct), the purpose of which will be to guarantee he’s either ineligible to run again, either due to criminal convictions or he’s gone bankrupt paying lawyers.
Of course the bad news is this new Republican party will likely struggle in the mid terms. Old habits die hard and enough people who’ve voted GOP all their lives will continue to do so, even though it hands Hillary the keys to the house. However on the plus side, once they’ve had time to organise (and the danger inherit in continuing to vote GOP is made clear to conservative voters), this new party will represent a serious challenge to Hillary in 2020. The GOP itself will wither and die, much like the downfall of the Whig party.
One also has to factor in what’s happening across town in democrat HQ. The Bernie Sanders brigade, who’ve reluctantly backed Hillary to stop Trump haven’t gone away. My guess is there will be some left wing challenge to Hillary, possibly something of a party split not long after the election. How bad this will be largely depends on that election outcome. A narrow victory to Hillary and most of the left wing of the democrats will feel the need to circle the wagons and buckle down. Yes Sanders might leave, but he only recently joined the party anyway. He’ll find the bulk of the party sticks with Hillary.
If on the other hand Hillary wins by a huge margin, with a strong showing made by third party candidate and the GOP gets massacred in the Senate and House races, that changes everything. Suddenly all those promises she made to the Bernie brigade, which should could otherwise renege on given the impossibility of getting them through Congress, now became a political possibility. So she’d have to at least try to get them passed, or face civil war within her own party. As David Cameron showed, sometimes winning an election by a larger majority than you expected can be a bad thing. Now you actually have to pretend to forfill all of your election promises.
And one has to consider the implications for America’s standing in the world with regard to a strong vote for Trump. The view of the rest of the world is that Trump is a bigot, a racist and a buffoon and November 8th is essentially a poll for the rest of us to figure out how many Americans are bigoted racist morons. Will the next generation of foreign born billionaires, like Elon Musk, Sergey Brin or George Soros chose to set up in the US (or UK for that matter) if they fear its run by racists who might run them out of town? Anyone in the rust belt voting for Trump because their angry about the lack of jobs, etc. Ya well good luck finding a job after foreign investors start pulling their money out of the country.
So it is for these reasons I would say to any conservative voters, think very carefully before voting for Donald Trump. It is in the best interest of the GOP and conservatives that Trump loses and loses by a landslide. If you can’t bring yourself to vote Hillary, vote for a 3rd party candidate. Conservative voters are facing a choice, not so much in who becomes president (that ship has pretty much sailed), but in which post-election scenario you most favour. One where the GOP survives, one where it falls apart or one where it loses elections after election for a generation.