Republicans were excited about Trump's racism until they realized it could backfire with voters.
Trump thinks his closing campaign theme of immigration hate will rally the Republican base, but party leaders in the House fear it might actually cost the GOP more seats on Election Day.
"Republicans focused on the chamber are profoundly worried that Trump’s obsession with all things immigration will exacerbate their losses," Politico reports.
"'Trump has hijacked the election,' said one senior House Republican aide of Trump's focus on immigration. 'This is not what we expected the final weeks of the election to focus on.'"
House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly called Trump over the weekend, begging him to spend the last few days before the election talking about the economy instead of the racist bile he's been spewing at the whirlwind of race-baiting rallies, where Trump has not only made himself the center of attention at a time when he's historically unpopular, but he's unleashed one of the most racist campaigns in modern American history.
Of course, the "panic" among Republican leaders is being expressed in private, since nobody within the party seems to have the courage to question the party's Mighty Leader in public, even when they think he's driving the GOP off an election cliff.
And, as Politico notes, "Many of these same Republicans welcomed Trump’s initial talk about the migrant caravan and border security two weeks ago, hoping it would gin up the GOP base in some at-risk, Republican-held districts."
In fact, Republicans pivoted to inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric months ago, when it became clear that running on their failed tax scam was not going to win over voters.
Trump's closing message of hysteria has been unmistakable: U.S. troops may soon open fire on Central American refugees in order to head off a looming "invasion."
Now, at the eleventh hour Republicans fear the strategy was a huge mistake, because the ugly attacks might drive away voters in key swing districts where women and independents will likely decide the winners of House races.
Democrats currently enjoy a massive 27-point lead among likely women voters who were asked which party they plan to support on Election Day.
There are indications Trump and the Republican Party gave up on the House a long time ago. Instead, Trump seems more focused on trying to help Republicans hang onto the Senate and doesn't care if his signature hate campaign hurts the party in the long-gone House.
The GOP's decision to to down this ugly campaign path was actually telegraphed long ago, when Republicans virtually abandoned any attempt to run on its tax cut give-away to millionaires and opted to focus on racist and xenophobic attacks.
Republican candidates this season have also flooded their campaign ads with often-deranged warnings about the massive crime wave that would grip the U.S. if Democrats win on Election Day.
"The spike shows how Trump’s successful use of fear-mongering about crime and immigration during his 2016 presidential bid has resurrected crime as a political issue in the United States, despite the overall crime rate remaining low and largely unchanged over the course of the past decade," the Huffington Post notes.
As Tuesday's verdict looms, the GOP only has itself to blame.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.