Washington (AP) — As the 2016 election draws near, the GOP’s hopes of retaking the White House hinge on one thing: winning over its traditional core supporters, which have historically leaned Democratic.
But with a Republican Party that is increasingly focused on the economy and national security, those core voters have begun to shift away from the party.
And it may be a sign that the party’s political fortunes have changed in recent years, even as it has stayed the same.
The Trump era has been an anti-establishment, anti-Wall Street, anti-[Clinton] era in which Republicans have seen their numbers decline and the party lost a majority of House seats and governorships.
The latest national polls show Trump’s numbers are on the rise and he’s still holding on to a small slice of GOP voters.
But in the eyes of many Republicans, the party is in danger of becoming a party of the past, where the traditional base no longer wants to support the party in power.
“It’s very disheartening that we’re seeing a lot of people who were once Republican, once solidly Republican, say they’re no longer supporting the Republican Party,” said Matt Mackowiak, a political science professor at the University of Texas.
“There’s a lot more anxiety about it.
It’s not a new problem.
It used to be the GOP was the party of working class whites, but the Republicans are not working class anymore.”
The Trump phenomenon is rooted in the Republican brand, Mackowiak said.
It has been the GOP brand from the beginning of its history, from its founding as the House of Representatives in 1789.
And the party has never been a popular party.
In the early days of the republic, the American public was divided between two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans.
But as the country expanded, the political parties became more polarized, and the parties became increasingly polarizing.
In particular, Republicans have consistently supported the Ku Klux Klan.
“I don’t think it was always like that,” Mackowia said.
“But we’ve gotten a lot worse.
I think we’ve got a lot better at winning elections.
And if you look at the past 10 years, Republicans are probably a better party than Democrats.”
Trump has made some of his most controversial comments and policies, but he has also won the support of the white working class and some Republican politicians.
But while the party may be losing some of its base, MackOWiak argues that the GOP has also been losing ground on the issues.
The party has moved away from social issues, which historically have been the base of the party, and toward issues that are more about personal enrichment.
Mackowik points to the GOP tax plan as one example.
Trump and GOP lawmakers have made it clear that they’re willing to give the wealthy a huge tax cut, and they’ve even gone so far as to propose a massive tax cut for corporations.
MackOWIAK: And then there’s the environment, which has been a major issue for the GOP in the past.
Mackowsack argues that there’s a growing number of people in the country who believe that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese.
“And that the government has no role in it,” MackOWOWIACK said.
The environment has become a key issue in the presidential race.
Trump has pledged to tear up the Paris climate agreement, and he has suggested he might withdraw from the Paris accord if the U.S. doesn’t reach its goal of cutting emissions by 30 percent.
The GOP’s campaign team has argued that the country is not in a position to do that at this time, and Mackowiw said the party needs to be more proactive about dealing with the environment.
“They’re not in the position to deal with the problems that the world faces,” Mackower said.
Trump, however, has been pushing the GOP to get out ahead of the curve on climate change.
“We’ve got to be really, really aggressive on this,” Mackowitz said.
In addition to the president’s comments on climate, Mackowsiak said the GOP is also taking some of the heat for the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on journalists.
Trump himself has threatened to sue the New York Times for reporting that he had a secret meeting with the Russian ambassador to the U, and has repeatedly attacked a Washington Post reporter, who wrote an article about the president and his administration.
Mackowitz thinks the media is the enemy of the GOP.
“If they didn’t have journalists who were actually saying the things that the president was saying, then the media would not be in this position,” Mackowsiak says.
“Because they’re just trying to get clicks.
They’re trying to generate traffic.”
Mackowitizs the GOP for embracing immigration reform.
“A lot of Republicans, even people who are Trump-hating, don’t like immigration reform,” Mackoowiak said.
But Mackowiews view is