UPDATE #4: Colorado GOP chairman Steve House re-kisses the ring:
UPDATE #3: Denver7’s Mark Belcher reports:
After calling on the Republican nominee for President to step aside, U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn has gone back on his decision to not vote for Donald Trump.
Glenn, who is a Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Colorado, said through a spokeswoman on Saturday that he would not vote Donald Trump…
Zelinger asked for clarification from his spokeswoman. In a text message she replied, “He will not vote for Donald Trump.”
On Monday, Glenn backed off of that stance, saying he may meet with Donald Trump to discuss his comments made public last Friday, which were a focus at the second Presidential debate.
…It appears Trump’s comments in the debate may have helped Glenn along after his camp solidly said he would not vote for the candidate.
“He needed to do what he did during the debate,” Glenn said. “Number one, he needed to apologize and accept personal responsibility for that. He did that.”
Glenn appeared on FOX News today saying as much:
UPDATE #2: The backlash from Trump supporters appears to be growing. As Ernest Luning reports, diehard Trump backers are now walking away…from the Republican Party:
— Ernest Lee Luning (@eluning) October 10, 2016
UPDATE: That didn’t take long–Colorado GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn becomes the first Colorado Republican to backpedal his two-day-old rejection of Donald Trump:
— Marshall Zelinger (@7Marshall) October 10, 2016
Just to be 100% clear, this was Glenn on Saturday:
— Marshall Zelinger (@7Marshall) October 8, 2016
Where it stops, nobody knows. We assume Election Day.
Our friend Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post reports on the state the Republican Party finds itself in after a disastrous weekend of revelations about Donald Trump and his “rapey” views about women and his own sexual entitlement, followed by a debate last night in which Trump nevertheless did not completely fold up like an accordion:
If Donald Trump had bombed in Sunday night’s second presidential debate, the rest of the 2016 campaign would have been made simple for Republicans who have never really known what to do with him. They would have disowned him in droves, insisting that his recently revealed comments about women coupled with the sort of campaign he has run to date disqualifies him as the party’s nominee…
But Trump didn’t bomb. Or, at least, he didn’t bomb in the eyes of the Republican base who, almost to a person, insisted he had won the debate going away — thanks to his willingness to take on Bill Clinton’s infidelity, Hillary Clinton’s alleged lies and, of course, the bias of the media. Many conservatives had been waiting 20+ years for someone to tell the Clintons to their face just how terrible they really are. And Trump did it.
What Trump didn’t do, of course, was find any sort of message that might appeal to undecided voters or to women — especially white women — who remain deeply skeptical of him. He won among conservatives by — willingly or not — losing among the swing voters he needs.
What we’re seeing here is the widening disconnect between an increasingly imbubbled Republican base and the rest of American society. While an overwhelmingly majority of Americans were horrified by Trump’s recorded comments, persuading by far the largest herd yet of vulnerable Republicans to condemn Trump, Trump’s hard-core base of support was unfazed–or even more resolved to support him against the “liberal attack machine.” The conservative media was quick to reinforce the base’s dismissal of Trump’s words by drawing any false equivalencies they could to muddy the waters.
Combine that with Trump’s debate performance yesterday, also widely perceived as alienating to women voters by the majority of American society but praised by Trump’s base as an example of him “hanging tough,” and what you have today is a Republican Party in total chaos. A new poll today from NBC, taken since Trump’s remarks became public, says that fully 67% of Republicans want their candidates to continue backing Trump.
That’s 67% of the Republican base who are now enraged at Mike Coffman, Darryl Glenn, and every other Republican candidate who rushed to abandon Trump last Friday. What’s unfolding is exactly what Coffman was afraid of, and why he held off from taking a definitive stand against Trump for so long. To condemn Trump risks loss of support from too many voters that Coffman needs, and the support he nets back in return isn’t enough to make it a good bargain. Coffman finally made a choice after months of damaging stalling on the question while the press became increasingly impatient.
And even though Coffman both politically and morally had to do this, it may not save him. Coming so late in the game further limits the support he wins from “Never Trump” undecideds, and Trump’s “recovery” after last night’s debate with the Republican base leaves Coffman’s decision looking rash and premature to his base supporters.
When we look back after the election, it may well be that there was no right choice.