Democrats have notoriously struggled to gain traction and support in Ohio’s Warren County. In fact, liberals have had such little success in improving their presence in local and county offices that, in many instances, they’ve given up running candidates entirely. However, everything changed when the Democrats took over Trump’s most supportive county. On Tuesday, when residents headed to the polls to cast votes for a slew of new officials, the Democrats made a huge and unprecedented comeback. Democrats gained nine new seats in elected offices, including new liberal members of the school board, trustees, and a municipal court judge.
It’s impossible to separate Trump’s recent, single-handed destruction of the Republican Party from the citizens of Warren County’s bandwagon style deviation from the partisan traditions they’ve held for the past 30 years.
Donald Trump has had members of the GOP scrambling to hold the Republican Party together since before he took office. In October of 2016, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he wouldn’t defend Donald Trump. Instead, Ryan chose to focus on preserving the Republican Party’s majority hold on Congress.
Trump of course, responded from his Twitter account, stating that Ryan shouldn’t be fighting the Republican nominee.
Several other members of the Republican party responded with objections to Ryan’s comments. One member stated that maintaining unity within the party was of utmost importance if the Republicans wished to avoid losing their majority advantage in Congress.
It’s no secret that under these circumstances a party is at risk of crumbling to the ground. When a party’s Speaker of the House is at odds with the party’s nominee, Republican legend Abraham Lincoln’s words become extraordinarily predictable. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Lincoln famously said in regards to the issue of slavery and on the eve of the Civil War.
Ohio’s Warren County is an excellent illustration of the truthfulness of this historic quote. All of the quarrels and division that have plagued the Republican Party since Trump first announced his candidacy in June of 2015 have finally led to the party’s demise in Warren County. The Democratic takeover in Ohio represents a massive loss for the Republican Party. The nine seats gained by the Democrats represent judges and trustees who will not advocate for conservative values as did their predecessors.
Any one of Trump’s undesirable traits could have also played a role in the people of Warren County’s cohesive decision to distance themselves from the party of the president. Perhaps it was his illogical yet steadfast denial of global warming. Or maybe it was the inappropriate and sexually explicit comments Trump has made about women that forced residents away from party-line voting. It may have even been Donald Trump’s persistent association with a less educated demographic that led Warren County citizens to vote blue last week. Whatever the cause, the Republican Party will have to do extensive damage control to make sure the trend that manifested itself in Ohio from doesn’t set a precedent across the country. Next November will be a tell-tale month for the Republican Party, as voters two years into the Trump era will head to the polls to cast votes for the next round of congressional representatives.
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