The Case for Swing States: How the Republican Party Survives another Century (Part 2)

This chapter will be focused on the Trump phenomena and what actually happened in the primary; whether there were too many candidates running, or if Trump really was the answer that voters were seeking. We will also be exploring how his message matches parts of the 2012 autopsy report, but also how he differs.


“Build the Wall.”

The following includes all 50 states and the District of Colombia, no other territories were mentioned. I am leaving in all of the data to dismiss any issues of miscalculating the data for a certain outcome. The numbers are the total amount of votes received by the candidates in each state.

Primary Results Data

  • Total:
    • 13,333,924- Trump
    • 16,653,048- Someone other than Trump
    • 9,437,751- Romney
    • 8,575,604- Someone other than Romney
    • 29,986,972- 2016 Republican Primary Voters in total.
    • 18,013,355- 2012 Republican Primary Voters in total

While there is some data missing such as some of the territories and the incomplete Colorado data…The main snap shot of the comparison between 2016 and 2012 is that 3 million more voters chose to have someone other than Trump as the Republican Nominee. Whereas in 2012 Romney voters outnumbered non-Romney voters by around 1 million.

What does this mean?  Well it justifies the #NeverTrump movements right to feel as though the majority of the voters did not choose Trump, because a majority of three million voters  did in fact choose a different candidate. In 2012 with less candidates running, Romney did win a majority of the votes when he secured the nomination. What this data seems to show that if the Republican party had better communication and unity during the primary the nominee would have most likely been someone besides Trump.

Would less candidates have changed the delegate outcome? Yes. It could have changed the outcomes in Arizona and Florida which are considered “Winner Take All States.”

The other discovery is that the 2016 election had a 60% increase in number of Republican primary voters. Whether this was due to Trump or to recent legislation making it easier to vote in some states, remains unknown. This discovery does support Trumps claims that his entry into the race increased voter participation in the primaries.


In the 2012 general election Mitt Romney was seen as robotic and out of touch. Donald Trump has surprisingly been able to connect to the voter on a more personal level, “One of the contributors to this problem is that while Democrats tend to talk about people, Republicans tend to talk about policy. Our ideas can sound distant and removed from people’s lives.” (Barbour). Trump has succeeded so far in this specific goal of the 2012 autopsy report. His fiery rhetoric gives an aura of truth. Whether or not he actually is telling the truth doesn’t matter. It sounds like it to voters fatigued from a much too “PC” culture. While he has yet to give actual detail to most of his policies, he has an ability to connect emotionally with the voter in ways that Republicans have been unable to. In this election Hillary Clinton is seen as the robotic and out of touch candidate, and Trump is seen as the “peoples candidate.”

Trump has also succeeded in the area of connecting to the middle class: “But if we are going to grow as a Party, our policies and actions must take into account that the middle class has struggled mightily and that far too many of our citizens live in poverty. To people who are flat on their back, unemployed or disabled and in need of help, they do not care if the help comes from the private sector or the government — they just want help.” (Barbour). Trump has done a great job of stating policies that to most people gives them hope for the future of the economy. He has promised to bring back manufacturing, make “better trade deals.” Even though his company routinely hires foreign laborers and outsources manufacturing. To the typical American voter with a minimal understanding of the Economy his ideas sound like the only way to get America back on track.

The following policy goal may sound like a shocking proposal to people who claim that Republicans are the party for the wealthy and wall street: “We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare. We should speak out when a company liquidates itself and its executives receive bonuses but rank-and-file workers are left unemployed. We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful raise in years.” (Barbour). One problem with Trump are his Wall street ties, and multiple bankruptcies. Those facts are directly at odds with this policy goal of the Republican party. He is a CEO who has benefitted off the backs of failed companies. He claims he is a billionaire while the average middle class citizen is barely a one hundred thousandnaire.

While Trump may claim that certain minority voters “love” him, it is no secret he is at odds with the main goal of the 2012 autopsy report: “If we believe our policies are the best ones to improve the lives of the American people,all the American people, our candidates and office holders need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms and we need to go to communities where Republicans do not normally go to listen and make our case. We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate that we care about them, too.” (Barbour). While trump has been better able to better connect with the average American through emotion and rhetoric. He has a long history throughout the 2016 cycle of isolating veterans, women, Hispanics, immigrants, Muslims, and African Americans. The damage he has been able to do in the course a year to the party has the ability to destroy the party’s credibility for years to come.

  • In the course of a year Trump has managed to do all of the following:
    • Refused to disavow David Duke.
    • Retweeted multiple neo-nazi accounts.
    • Childishly attacks the wives of opponents.
    • He spread unfounded conspiracies theories about his primary opponents.
    • Insinuated that a female moderator was only aggressive due to “Blood coming out her wherever.”
    • Mocked a disabled reporter.
    • Continues to call for a ban on an entire religion.
    • Continues to call for building a wall and deporting 12 million people.
    • Has described himself the “King of Debt.”
    • Praised dictator Sadam Hussein
    • Praised Vladimir Putin
    • Promoted violence against protestors.
    • Mocked our Veterans and Prisoners of War.
    • Stated multiple times that a Judge could not do his job due to his ethnicity.
    • He has stated that the President “founded ISIS.”
    • Called for the murder of his opponent.
    • He has also repeatedly attacked a Gold Star family.

Trump has an 88% Unfavorable rating amongst African Americans, an 87% Unfavorable rating amongst Hispanics, and a 70% Unfavorable rating with Women. (Williams), (Newport).

Throughout this election Donald Trump has been able to tap into the outrage and political fatigued of voters, in a way that the Republican party has not been able to in recent years. In this election there was a 60% increase in Republican primary voters from 2012, it can be speculated this was due to Mr. Trumps entry.

However, Trump fails to fulfill several specific goals of the 2012 autopsy report. He has isolated many minority groups that the Republican party was looking to be more inclusive too. He has damaged the parties credibility with hispanics, veterans, women, african americans. He has uprooted the core values of the Republican party, a small government, strong foreign policy, religious freedom and free markets. This election the head of the party advocates for isolationism, rarely speaks of his faith, and expresses his support for dangerous and oppressive regimes.

There have been many takes on what Trumps nomination means for the future of the party. There seem to be only two endings for this chapter; the party either purges the racist factions of the party, or the party dies and a third party emerges to take the place of the Republican Party in American politics.


“2016 Primary Election Results: President Live Map by State, Real-Time Voting Updates.” Election Hub. Politico, 2016. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.

Barbour, Henry, Sally Bradshaw, Ari Fleischer, Zori Fonalledas, and Glenn McCall. “Growth & Opportunity Project.” Growth & Opportunity Project (2013): n. pag. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.

Newport, Frank, and Lydia Saad. “Seven in 10 Women Have Unfavorable Opinion of Trump.” Gallup. Gallup, 1 Apr. 2016. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.

“RealClearPolitics – 2012 Republican Popular Vote.” RealClearPolitics – 2012 Republican Popular Vote. Real Clear Politics, 2012. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.

Richardson, Valerie. “Cruz Wins Colorado in Unofficial Straw Poll as GOP Voters Take Caucus into Their Own Hands.” Washington Times. The Washington Times, 4 Mar. 2016. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.

Williams, Vanessa, and Scott Clements. “Three in Four Voters of Color ‘strongly’ Dislike Trump.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 June 2016. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.




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