Quote (thundercock @ 31 Oct 2020 00:07)
Trump lost by 2% to Hillary so I'm not sure the margin matters that much. I mean, the polls ALREADY say that Trump is wildly unpopular and few, if any, Republicans are distancing from Trump. In addition, the RNC didn't change campaign strategy so I guess I'm struggling to find a reason why they would change. Are they just hoping the polls are flat out wrong? I agree that they'll probably tone down the rhetoric but I'm not sure if there will be any policy changes.
That seems like a very simplistic concept of politics. The question Republicans strategists are asking themselves right now is not "would GOP candidate xyz be better off if he was more distanced from Trump", the question is "if xyz undertakes efforts to distance himself from Trump NOW, will he gain more in the middle of the electorate than he loses from Trump supporters staying home or voting for Jorgensen".
Simply put, no GOP candidate in a remotely competitive race can win without strong margins and strong turnout from the GOP base. But this base still really likes Trump, and trying to distance oneself from him in a meaningful way, so that some moderates and swing voters are won over, is impossible without alienating the base.
So no, the fact that most GOP senators and congressmen in tight races are not disavowing Trump is not proof for some sort of irrational, cult-like loyalty - it is something the base forces them to do. Even if Trump appears to be clearly losing, their electoral fate is nonetheless still tied to him, whether they like it or not.
I, personally, do not think that they have to change thaaat much on policy. They only have to fix two big gaps in their platform: an alternative proposal for healthcare, and a plan on how to tackle climate change without banning fossils or imposing carbon taxes, etc. Those plans dont have to be great or even something that could work in practice - they just need something so that they aren't constantly caught with their pants down when someone asks "fine, you want to repeal Obamacare - and then what?"