If Republicans want to surrender the 2016 election, there’s an easy path: nominate Donald Trump.
In fact, not only would Republicans lose in 2016, they could struggle in elections for a generation. Here’s the simple truth: millennials overwhelmingly do not like Donald Trump.
That’s right, Trump doesn’t even break 20 percent among the nation’s largest demographic. A recent CNN/ORC poll confirmed these numbers, showing 73 percent of millennials disapprove of Trump.
Three-in-four millennials disapprove of Trump, and only 19 percent would vote for him. That’s much worse than John McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012.
In 2016, millennials will be the largest generation of eligible voters. In 2020 and 2024, they will dominate the electoral process as baby boomers age. Unless Trump can dramatically change his image among next-generation voters, he has no path to victory. That’s why poll after poll after poll shows Trump losing to Hillary Clinton in the general election. The latest poll shows him losing the general election to Clinton by 13 percent.
Here’s the problem for Trump: Yes, he adds some white rural Democrats and independents, but he is losing many more voters than he is bringing in to vote for him.
To attract some non-voters and blue-dog Democrats, Trump is losing millennials, women, and minorities. There simply aren’t enough of the new Trump voters to balance out the vast amounts of voters he is losing.
And before you say any Republican would be losing these groups, remember that Marco Rubio is performing 10 percent better against Clinton than Trump is, according to the RealClearPolitics average. This 10-point gap is mostly driven by Rubio performing better — much better — than Trump in these key demographics.
For Trump supporters who question the validity of these polls, remember that Trump has underperformed his polls in many states so far.
After Republicans lost back-to-back presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, the Party admitted they needed a plan to win younger and diverse voters, or the electoral math would be too hard to overcome for a Republican to ever be elected president again.
Instead of following the plan — to take a positive conservative message to younger and diverse voters — Republicans are supporting a candidate who is doing the opposite. Trump’s negative nationalist message alienates significantly more voters than it inspires, and Republicans may lose younger voters by larger margins in 2016 than ever before.