Republicans must unify

MICHAEL STRAW

State College

Unity is needed if Republicans want to have a true Republican to represent them as their presidential nominee. Most say that Donald Trump leads all the polls. In most surveys, however, if you dig deep into the data, you will find that Trump only has a big edge with Republican-leaning Independents … meaning actual Republicans do not necessarily favor Donald Trump to be their nominee. In fact, their support is divided. If the Republicans do not want Donald Trump to represent their party to be President they must unify around one or two candidates in the race, this may mean voters voting for their “second best” candidate.

Currently, there are 13 Republican candidates running for president. Donald Trump is leading by 20 percent in some surveys for various reasons. One of the main causes of Mr. Trump’s wide lead is simply that support is divided amongst many candidates. If registered Republicans were to suddenly switch their support to one or two other candidates, Donald Trump could be overtaken at the ballot box in the majority of the states. Support will need to shift since the nearest Republican candidates in most national surveys to Donald Trump only have 13-17 percent of the vote vs. Trump who has 35-40 percent. Registered Republicans rallied around one to two candidates in 2008 and 2012 in order to pick their preferred nominee; now it is time for the Republican voters to pick one or two candidates and see who the best is electorally against Donald Trump and in the general election.

To highlight how the Independent and non-affiliated voter categories are bolstering Donald Trump’s lead, one can look to our own state.

In a state such as Pennsylvania, Donald Trump only has a 1-point lead in the most recent survey (conducted by Franklin and Marshall College) of the state’s Republican voters. This is due to the fact that in Pennsylvania, only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary.

Unlike in New Hampshire, where Independents and Democrats are allowed to vote for other party candidates in their primaries. Donald Trump has a 16-point lead in the most recent New Hampshire survey.

Registered Republicans across the country must wake up and unify to support one or two candidates – other than Donald Trump – in the primary if they hope to pick someone that represents the party. If registered Republican voters divide themselves in the primaries then a candidate who may not have all the interests of the party may win.

Staying divided also means someone else other than registered Republicans may decide who will be the Republican nominee for president will be in 2016.