A few months ago, before the race for the White House got so intense, the Grand Old Party was looking forward to introducing a new line-up of candidates, with a fresh vision on the conservative values the party is promoting. In the meantime, things got nasty between some candidates and not a few were those who mentioned the possibility of the GOP easily tearing apart.
Trump and Cruz were constantly under the spotlight
The presidential campaign has been one surrounded in controversy from its very beginning with bombastic public appearances and speeches from front-running GOP candidates Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. It should, therefore, not surprise anybody that as the stakes are becoming increasingly higher, so is their rhetoric increasing in intensity.
It is of worth noting at this point that the only candidates that have made an appeal to moderation and reason have been the GOP establishment-endorsed Kasich and Carson. The image that the Republican Party has projected for itself, as a consequence of this debate also brings forward an issue characteristic to Republican policy ever since the Reagan years, and perhaps to policy of both parties – a steady but sure movement farther and farther from center ideologies, with both parties delving deeper and deeper into right, respectively left-wing ideologies.
Voters need a candidate who says what they want to hear
Bearing in mind the above could, perhaps, be a good explanation as to why the campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have gained such traction, based on their unconventional appearances so far. It may be that the average right-wing oriented American has become fed up with the policies of the GOP and needs a candidate who can speak his language and bring forward a set of measures tailored to the understanding of the common man, regardless of their applicability potential or their extremist character.
The problem is, however, a more deep-seated one than most old-school members of the Republican Party are willing to admit, with discontent regarding the Iraq war and the terror acts of 9/11 emerging now, more than 10 years after the events had unfolded. This has been a strong point in Donald Trump’s campaign and the amount of support he has garnered so far may very well indicate the perception of the average American conservative of the way the Bush administration handled these events. It also goes to show that a wound thought to have been closed is actually still very fresh in the memories of many.
South Carolina, a vital moment?
While impressions from this most recent debate are still fresh, it is the long-term aftermath that will be of the most importance for the future of the GOP. Referring to the debate, pollster Frank Luntz said for The Washington Post that a consequence of the candidates’ behavior will be the loss of votes. As the South Carolina primaries approach, confirming or denying this statement is only several weeks away.