Republicans are learning that Hillary Clinton was right about 'deplorables'
If you are a Republican politician not named Donald Trump, your life right now is pain.
These two tweets from the Washington Post's Robert Costa explain why:
In calls this morning, many Rs privately want to defect from Trump. But they say the debate gave them pause since he roused their base.— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 10, 2016
Meanwhile, Trump circle gloating. Privately mocking elected Rs who are agonizing. One laughed and said, "We don't care."— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 10, 2016
Donald Trump is gross and is electoral poison. Republican officials know this. They would like to abandon him, and many have.
But Trump chose his ultra-confrontational debate strategy last night for a reason: His base of voters eat it up.
For a lot of Trump voters, this election isn't about policy, it's not about conservative values, and it's certainly not about treating people with respect and decency. It's about seeking vengeance.
Those voters like the Trump they saw last night, they like the Trump who has been outraging "the right people" ever since he started lying about Barack Obama's birth certificate in 2011, and they maybe even kind of like the Trump that Billy Bush seemed to like so much on that tape from 2005.
For a lot of his fans, a vote for Trump is a vote to grab America by the p---y.
Republicans in Congress know this means they reject Trump at their peril. A Politico-Morning Consult poll found 25% of Republicans said they would be less likely to vote for a downballot candidate who withdrew his or her support for Trump.
If you were an elected official who was beholden to these voters, you might even be tempted to call them "deplorable."