The Republican Party is facing a new challenge: The Trump era.
That’s according to a new report that says the GOP faces a new, existential challenge that will test whether the party is prepared to take on President Donald Trump’s presidency.
The GOP’s 2020 presidential nominee, Ted Cruz, is running a competitive race, the report says.
And Trump has a new challenger.
But the report from The Heritage Foundation and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) warns that this election is “far from settled.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in June, the GOP is grappling with a backlash to its policies on immigration and the border, and the impact of the 2016 presidential election on the party’s national standing.
The report notes that while the Supreme Party has remained “unperturbed” by the court’s decision, “the GOP faces significant obstacles in its ability to navigate the 2020s election cycle.”
The party has yet to articulate a policy vision to address these issues, which CIS and The Heritage report describe as “serious, but not insurmountable.”
The report points to “a continuing lack of consensus within the Republican Party” on immigration, and also to the party “lacking an agenda” on the border issue.
The Heritage Report calls the lack of unity “an existential crisis.”
The group points to the “dissolving” Republican Party, as well as “a growing number of Americans who believe that the GOP lacks a viable alternative to Trump and the GOP establishment.”
“The 2020 election could be far from settled,” CIS and the report conclude.
“It remains unclear whether the GOP will have a clear path to victory.”
For its part, the RNC is still working through its 2020 strategy, and CIS and its authors predict that the party will face “significant challenges” in the upcoming election.
In its report, CIS called on the GOP to focus on “reforming our electoral system to elect a party that represents the will of the people,” while “reclaiming its electoral infrastructure” by “re-electing Republican Senators, Representatives, and governors” and “restoring the party to its roots.”
In addition, the CIS report suggests that the RNC “must focus on expanding its coalition of conservative and moderate Republicans” and the party should “rethink its support of Trumpism” to “embrace the populism of the Trump era.”
But CIS and Trump supporters argue that the report is overblown and that the Trump-related issues facing the party are “far more pressing” than immigration and border issues.
“We think that the Heritage report is wrong and is based on a false premise,” CIS said in a statement.
“CIS is right, and they are right about the existential crisis.
The party’s future is very uncertain.”
“Cis believes the GOP’s political trajectory is headed for disaster,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, in a press release.
“The Republican Party needs to stop pretending it can win the 2020 election.”
The Heritage and CIS report notes several ways that the Republican party is “going to have to reinvent itself” in order to win back voters who have shifted away from the GOP.
For one, CIS said the GOP needs to “address the growing demographic challenge” of “young, non-college educated voters, many of whom are now voting for Democrats.”
The “fear of immigration and a desire to secure the border” is “the most prominent concern of young voters,” according to the report.
But CIS also points out that the “GOP is going to need to address immigration issues as well” to win over voters in the “low-income, working-class communities” that were the “largest constituency” for Trump in 2016.
The “GOP has to show leadership on the environment and energy issues, and must begin to put forth a bold, pro-growth agenda,” CIS added.
The Republican party also needs to develop a “bold, pro–growth economic agenda,” the report states.
And CIS says that the 2016 election has “shattered” the party.
“Conservatives lost ground, even though they won in the general election.
And as a result, the party has been unable to find its footing,” CIS concluded.
“Now the party must rebuild, rebuild, and rebuild.”