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Let’s do the time warp again.

GOP nominates the old, white liberal in the primary with the highest name I.D. (handpicked by Fox News, of course). Said candidate then proceeds to run on no issues other than “Don’t those dastardly Democrats just suck?” Conservative base is lukewarm-to-hostile to said nominee as well, and said nominee doesn’t help his cause by passing on opportunities to capitalize on issues that excite conservatives. Meanwhile, Team GOP punditry lines up to tell us not to pay attention to that man behind the curtain, and instead let them cherry pick polls to assure us that this time it will be different than all the others. Because, unity.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

This is who the Republican Party is, and always has been. It is not the party of Reagan. It is the party that tolerated Reagan when it had to, and then proceeded to dismantle his legacy while also cynically capitalizing on it from the moment he left the national stage. 

Since Eisenhower, the GOP always produces this result, with two glaring exceptions (Goldwater and Reagan). It’s only the packaging that changes.

Nixon was the comeback kid, while Ford was gonna lead America’s post-Watergate comeback. Bush the elder was kinder-gentler, and Bush the younger just repackaged that as “compassionate conservatism.” Dole and McCain were war heroes. Romney, the straight-laced businessman, has been succeeded by Trump, the profane businessman.

All of these men were progressives/corporatists to some degree, with only stylistic and/or individual character flaws separating them. This explains why we’re already seeing the same scam we saw four years ago. Only it’s been remastered to include more cowbell this time, in order to line up with prickly proxy spewed forth by the Matrix for 2016.

The Republican Party has never met a brick wall it doesn’t like running into headfirst.

Case in point: The new company line is Hillary is damaged (and she is) and unlikable (and she is), so Trump is gonna win (no he’s not). The “evidence” for this echo chamber appears to be current polling. Except there’s just one problem with that.

Trump is still losing in that polling.

Hillary is having her worst month as a candidate, with reports of FBI witness interviews, Bernie Sanders threatening “feel the burn” (literally) at the convention, and Democrats still not unified. In many respects, Hillary is now going through what Trump faced six weeks ago, when his crudity and National Enquirer hit piece backfired on him and Ted Cruz won five states in a row.

However, despite Hillary’s current struggles, the best Trump can muster is a statistical tie in the current Real Clear Politics polling average. And he only has that because of the six general election polls published so far this year that had Trump ahead, four of them were published by Fox and Rasmussen—two polling firms that have a history of producing favorable results for Republicans. In the other 30 head-to-head non-Fox/Rasmussen polls so far this year, Trump has led in just three of them.

Nevertheless, the Team GOP spin machine is in full put-on-your-waders mode. It got especially thick on Twitter recently when former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer tweeted: “Trump is the first Republican since 2004 to have a lead.”

But there’s just one problem with that. It’s not true either.

Let’s start with 2008. In mid-May of 2008 McCain led Obama in the Rasmussen (surprise!) and Gallup polls, as Democrats remained divided then as they are now. McCain led Obama in the late-July Gallup poll, too. In fact, during the first three weeks of September, 23 polls were conducted, and McCain either led or was tied in 13 of them. But then McCain suspended his campaign to help bailout Wall Street, and he never led in another poll the rest of the way.

In 2012, Romney actually led or was tied in the final Politico, Rasmussen, CNN, Gallup, and Monmouth University polls of the cycle. In the final 32 polls taken between October 1 and Election Day, Romney actually led or was tied in 19 of them. Romney led several polls in August as well, and even led six of the eight polls published for May 9-17.

Translation: we’ve been here before.

“But, Steve,” some of you will say, “Hillary isn’t as popular as Obama.”

You’re right about that, but the problem is Trump is more disliked than were Mitt or McCain. Take a look at these demographic numbers comparing the CBS/New York Times Poll released a few days ago with its numbers at this time four years ago:

  • Trump led men +5, but Romney was +7.
  • Hillary leads women +17, which is six points better than Obama.
  • Trump leads +12 among white voters, but Romney was +20.
  • Hillary is only three points behind where Obama was with black voters.

Furthermore, the lie that Trump brought all these new voters to the GOP has also been exposed:

  • The Virginia and Ohio primaries set turnout records, but in each case less than six percent of that turnout came from new voters.
  • Michigan saw an increase of 119,000 GOP primary voters, but that doesn’t even come close to narrowing the almost half-million voter gap in the state between Romney and Obama four years ago.
  • Only five percent of the turnout in the record-setting Iowa Caucuses were new voters, and that number slightly climbed to 8.4 percent in the crucial South Carolina primary.
  • In Florida, which might’ve been Trump’s most important primary victory, only six percent of the electorate were new voters.

Over and over again Trump did not bring new voters to the GOP. Just voters who weren’t accustomed to voting in primaries, but have always been reliable general election voters. And he didn’t always bring out all those voters to support him, either. When this primary officially ends on June 7, Trump will have received the most non-votes in GOP history as well.

I know this isn’t the news many of you want to hear. I hate losing, too. Which is why I did everything I could to back a candidate that wasn’t exactly like all the other losers this party typically nominates.

Sadly, though, they nominated the same kind of loser again. It’s the insanity party—doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result each time. So you have about five more months of being told how Hillary Clinton is the scummiest pond scum that’s ever scummed, because this party isn’t fond of offering voters something to actually vote for.

It won’t work, just like it never works, because voters only vote Republican on issues, not personalities. And Trump has refused to run on any issues other than personality (name-calling, scandals, etc.). He’s moved left on all his signature issues already, and ignores issues like tranny bathrooms and religious liberty that would actually excite voters. Just as Romney ignored Chick-fil-A, McCain ignored the roots of Obama’s worldview, etc.

The Republican Party has never met a brick wall it doesn’t like running into headfirst. You might as well gird your loins for conservatives being blamed for all this again come post-election. It’s just their way.

steve deace