Trump implosion fuels GOP civil war

Recent revelations of sexually lewd and offensive remarks toward women by GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE have sent his presidential hopes into a tailspin. In the wake of these stunning comments, have unendorsed the nominee's candidacy for president.

Fueling the real estate mogul's demise are polls showing Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone fundraising off promise not to testify against Trump Rivaling chants of 'USA,' 'lock him up' greet Flynn after sentencing hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown MORE opening wide leads nationally and in key battleground states.

These stunning developments — with less than a month to Election Day — now have Trump lashing out at members of his own party, escalating the civil war raging within the GOP.

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The many renunciations and desertions by jittery and nervous party leaders and candidates have only inflamed Trump's ire. The bombastic presidential contender is accusing Republicans of disloyalty and threatening repercussions for their lack ofsupport. The reality TV star has vociferously attacked House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown Missing: Fiscal sanity in Washington On The Money: Latest on border wall fight | Dems prep for long shutdown | Trump finds himself isolated | Stocks sink ahead of Fed meeting, funding deadline | Trump offers new round of farm aid MORE (R-Wis.), former 2008 nominee Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown Arizona gov taps McSally for McCain Senate seat Michelle Obama reflects on 'refreshing' tradition of sharing candy with George W. Bush MORE (R-Ariz.) and others as he steps up his attacks on the party apparatus.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are feverishly attempting to stave off a wave election that is looking like it could drown the entire party.

A recent Fox News poll shows Clinton's lead over Trump has increased to 7 points (45 percent to 38 percent in a four-way matchup). Down-ballot is looking equally grim, as a RealClearPolitics polling average shows Democrats leading Republicans in congressional races by nearly 5 points (45.2 percent to 40.8 percent).

So bad is the GOP civil war that a poll conducted by SurveyUSA shows Trump and Clinton tied in Utah at 35 percent. Also, Utah Rep. Mia Love, once the darling of the Republican Party, is in a tough reelection fight. Startling developments, indeed, considering Utah is considered the third reddest state in America.

Equally debilitating for the GOP is a recent poll in deep-red Arizona by Data Orbital showing Clinton with a slight advantage over Trump (43 percent to 42 percent). The billionaire-turned-politician is now a one-man wrecking crew and no candidate is safe; no GOP-controlled state or institution sacrosanct.

The GOP's worse nightmare is coming to fruition as the Trump meltdown is occurring just as early voting has begun in earnest.

During the 2012 election, more than 35 percent of the electorate voted early, double the 16 percent in 2000. To date, more than 1.5 million early votes have already been cast amid the backdrop of growing accusations of sexual assault lobbed at the GOP nominee.

Meanwhile, GOP leaders and party officials arein the eye of the storm, bracing for impact as more accusations of sexual assault pour in and Trump's rapid-fire attacks on his own party leave a swath of destruction and ruin.

Trump's meteoric rise was a shot in the arm to a party already reeling from years of incessant infighting. His astounding number of record votes kept the GOP in line and placed him front and enter.

However, that support was never stable as the number of votes against him outweighed those cast in his favor. Now, like an overheated comet bursting in flames, his support is unraveling and cratering in rapid fashion and rather than take concerted efforts to hold the line through Nov. 8, Trump's self-defeating take-no-prisoners strategy is hastening the demise ofthe GOP.

Now, with only a few weeks left until the polls officially close, the outcome looks grim.

The GOP could once again be left reeling after another stunning loss in a race they should have won. Clinton, with all her baggage, could make history as the first woman elected president of the United States. Shut out of the White House in three successive elections, demoralized and deflated, an already crippled GOP will be on life-support.

Worse still, the GOP civil war will not end, even after all the votes are counted.

Expect Trump to continue waging war against the GOP, riling up his supporters with baseless accusations and innuendo, exploiting the fears and anxieties of a dwindling demographic group of voters who do not see themselves in Clinton or her predecessor, President Obama.

Conversely, the plutocrat wing of the GOP, though shrinking, still wields enormous influence and its deep pockets buys a lot of weaponry and ammunition to bankroll a civil war against Trump and his acolytes.

Yet, as each side digs in and battles for GOP supremacy, the Obama/Clinton winning coalition of minorities, women and millennials will continue reshaping American national politics.

The once mighty party of Lincoln and Reagan is no more, done in by its own hands.

Ham is a national political commentator and analyst with Sirius XM Radio and BBC International. He is the author of the bestselling book, "The GOP Civil War: Inside the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party." Follow him on Twitter at @EKH2016.


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