Comparing the GOP Divides, 1964 and 2016
With the GOP national convention still almost two months away and Donald Trump already wooing skeptical Republicans, it’s too early to know how divided the Republican Party will be in November. But minimizing that divide is critical to Trump’s prospects.
The party’s last serious fracture occurred in 1964, when a polarizing nominee resulted in a Democratic presidential landslide and disappointing congressional elections.
No, Trump is not Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, and the country and its politics look very different today than they did 52 years ago. Today’s parties are much more ideological and the distance between them is much greater, presumably making defections less likely. And Trump’s problem is not that he is perceived as too ideological.
But, as in the 1960s, a divided party is a defeated party, so the degree to which Republicans close ranks behind their nominee is no less important now than it was five decades ago.
Pretty good article. Combine that with Trump’s statement today that basically the GOP needs to either support him or shut up and he’ll lead by himself, and I’m wondering just how strongly the GOP Machine is going to be working for Trump.
One thing that Trump has of course is that the entire communications / campaigning universe has changed to an extent that makes direct comparisons difficult. Goldwater never had the kind of Media access, the direct messaging 24/7 and the incredibly condensed version of a news cycle that exists now.
I seem to recall reading something that in the late 60’s a typical TV news report soundbite from a politician was on the order of 3+ minutes long. Now it a got to fit in under 5 seconds.
Somebody posted on a previous thread that Trump is making this campaign the political version of a Gish Gallop. . I think that’s a pretty accurate statement, and I don’t believe that it’s unintentional on his part in any way, shape or means.
Hopefully this election will turn out much the same as it did for Goldwater in 64. In my heart I hope I’m right.