Already on the verge of extinction in California, Republicans suffered multiple defeats that saw them ousted from a historic stronghold in the 2018 midterm election. And they know that President Donald Trump is to blame for it.
But the candidates themselves refuse to admit that Trump cost them their seats, remaining stubbornly loyal in defeat.
All told, Republicans lost ALL of their Orange County districts to Democrats, seats that had been red since Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
The blue wave swept across the nation into even the most conservative districts, resulting in Democrats taking control of the House.
“The nightmare results were the end result of a toxic brew of overconfidence and presidential unpopularity, as some Republicans failed to recognize and reckon with the unprecedented negative reaction to President Donald Trump in districts from Orange County to California’s agriculture-heavy Central Valley,” Politico reports.
The election is a clear rebuke of Trump by the American people and places the California Republican Party in an untenable position heading into 2020 and beyond.
“This is the death of the Republican Party” in California, GOP consultant Mike Madrid said. “There’s no coming back from this for at least a generation, if not more.”
Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel said the results amount to “a nuclear political holocaust for Republicans” in the state.
Yet, they can’t bring themselves to admit unanimously that Trump is a major reason why they lost.
Instead, defeated Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and other Republicans claim Democrats bought their victories.
Of course, that’s quite a bit of hogwash considering Hillary Clinton outspent Trump significantly and still lost the 2016 Election. If money were the deciding factor in elections, Trump would not be sitting in the White House.
California Republicans’ denial and their obsession with absolving Trump of blame stands in stark contrast to Republican governors, who blamed Trump’s pettiness, divisiveness and his reluctance to talk about the economy for the thrashing the party received this year.
Democrats also understand that Trump deserves a lot of the credit for their victories.
“If you were running for dogcatcher in Orange County – or in a lot of places in California – and you had an ‘R’ next to your name on the ballot, you lost,” California Democratic consultant Andrew Acosta said. “It was Trump. Trump created this. There wasn’t much Republicans could do to stop it.”
And unless Republicans admit that Trump is a liability, they won’t be able to stop it in 2020 either.
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