The Devil’s in the Details for the GOP

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The Devil's in the Details for the GOP

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The elec­tion results pose some sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges for the GOP since the Trump rev­o­lu­tion may not have been as far-​reaching as many would like to believe.

Don­ald Trump did not make sig­nif­i­cant gains nation­ally, earn­ing only a few more votes than the Repub­li­can can­di­dates in the past three cam­paigns, as Mark Levin has pointed out.

Accord­ing to Cook Polit­i­cal Report’s lat­est tally, which is con­tin­u­ously being updated, Trump earned about 62 mil­lion votes.

That’s about the same as George Bush received in 2004 and Mitt Rom­ney got in 2012. Even John McCain got 60 mil­lion votes in 2008.

In 2008, for exam­ple, more than 129 mil­lion went to the polls, giv­ing Barack Obama nearly 69.5 mil­lion votes and a land­slide in the Elec­toral Col­lege. In 2012, more than 129 mil­lion went to the polls, pro­vid­ing Obama with more than 65 million.

Hillary Clin­ton will fall short of Obama’s pop­u­lar vote in the last elec­tion, but not by much. All told, the num­ber of peo­ple vot­ing also will fall short of the last campaign.

As the results indi­cate, Trump did well in the 13 swing states needed to win. Accord­ing to Cook, Trump got 22.1 mil­lion votes in the swing states, while Clin­ton received 21.2 mil­lion. That is a shift of 5.5 per­cent over 2012, but the razor-​thin vic­to­ries in Florida, Penn­syl­va­nia, Wis­con­sin and Michi­gan under­line a con­tin­u­ing need to work hard over the next four years to keep these states in the GOP column.

It was unclear how many con­ser­v­a­tives voted for Trump, although exit polls showed over­whelm­ingly that peo­ple wanted a change from Obama. Forty-​six per­cent of vot­ers said they wanted poli­cies enacted by the next pres­i­dent to be “more con­ser­v­a­tive” than Obama’s poli­cies, accord­ing to ABC News’s elec­tion exit polling.

I voted reluc­tantly for Trump. I credit Trump for bring­ing more con­ser­v­a­tives into his admin­is­tra­tion so far, which may solid­ify the GOP’s appeal on the right. The key test to expand the GOP base will be his suc­cess in build­ing a more robust economy.

Trump’s elec­tion sur­prised most peo­ple. But it’s impor­tant to real­ize that it was not a rev­o­lu­tion. It will take a lot of hard work to keep the GOP in power when 2018 and 2020 roll around.


Christo­pher Harper is a recov­er­ing jour­nal­ist who worked for The Asso­ci­ated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Wash­ing­ton Times and teaches media law.

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The election results pose some significant challenges for the GOP since the Trump revolution may not have been as far-reaching as many would like to believe.

Donald Trump did not make significant gains nationally, earning only a few more votes than the Republican candidates in the past three campaigns, as Mark Levin has pointed out.

According to Cook Political Report’s latest tally, which is continuously being updated, Trump earned about 62 million votes.

That’s about the same as George Bush received in 2004 and Mitt Romney got in 2012. Even John McCain got 60 million votes in 2008.

In 2008, for example, more than 129 million went to the polls, giving Barack Obama nearly 69.5 million votes and a landslide in the Electoral College. In 2012, more than 129 million went to the polls, providing Obama with more than 65 million.

Hillary Clinton will fall short of Obama’s popular vote in the last election, but not by much. All told, the number of people voting also will fall short of the last campaign.

As the results indicate, Trump did well in the 13 swing states needed to win. According to Cook, Trump got 22.1 million votes in the swing states, while Clinton received 21.2 million. That is a shift of 5.5 percent over 2012, but the razor-thin victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan underline a continuing need to work hard over the next four years to keep these states in the GOP column.

It was unclear how many conservatives voted for Trump, although exit polls showed overwhelmingly that people wanted a change from Obama. Forty-six percent of voters said they wanted policies enacted by the next president to be “more conservative” than Obama’s policies, according to ABC News’s election exit polling.

I voted reluctantly for Trump. I credit Trump for bringing more conservatives into his administration so far, which may solidify the GOP’s appeal on the right. The key test to expand the GOP base will be his success in building a more robust economy.

Trump’s election surprised most people. But it’s important to realize that it was not a revolution. It will take a lot of hard work to keep the GOP in power when 2018 and 2020 roll around.


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.