If I believed in conspiracy theories, I could make a case that Donald Trump's American presidential candidacy was part of a conspiracy to damage the Republican Party.
The problem isn't simply that many expect him to lose the presidential election, some recent polls notwithstanding, but rather there is concern that race will adversely affect down-ballot contests.
This is particularly true in the U.S. Senate where 24 of 34 seats being fought are held by Republicans, and the Democrats would need to gain only four in order to organize the chamber. Perhaps of even greater concern is the longer term impact this race might have upon redefining the image of the Republican Party for years to come.
The demographic categories where Trump's politically incorrect "authenticity" has reinforced Republican vulnerabilities are notably among minorities, women and the young. Minority proportions of the general voting population have been steadily growing at the rate of about two per cent every four-year presidential cycle, and are expected to reach 32 per cent this November.
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