Sure, he's a problem. But not so much that they can't make the best of it.
Here's a little reminder about where the GOP is really heading with the Trump phenomenon:
In the memo on “the Trump phenomenon,” NRSC Executive Director Ward Baker said Republicans should embrace Trump’s tough talk about China and “grab onto the best elements of [his] anti-Washington populist agenda.” Above all, they should appeal to voters as genuine and beyond the influence of special interests.
“Trump has risen because voters see him as authentic, independent, direct, firm, — and believe he can’t be bought,” Baker writes. “These are the same character traits our candidates should be advancing in 2016. That’s Trump lesson #1.”
Baker’s memo, titled “Observations on Donald Trump and 2016,” amounts to a clear-eyed approach to the Trump challenge, to which many Republican elites have responded with only hand-wringing and the vague hope that somehow, someday it will disappear. In fact, the memo posits that Trump could build a powerful enough coalition to win the general election. Regardless of how far Trump’s candidacy ultimately goes, the memo is evidence of the effect he has had on his party.
Still, Baker sees limits to being like Trump. He writes that it is prudent for Senate candidates to craft their own political brands distinct from Trump’s and to distance themselves by quickly condemning his more controversial comments, such as “wacky things about women.” He cautions candidates against “piling on” Trump, however, warning that Republicans up and down the ballot would suffer if the GOP vote was divided or depressed.
Implied in the memo is an understanding that the national party would back Trump if he secured the nomination — managing his candidacy rather than disowning him as the standard-bearer.
Just saying. For all the hosannas being raised in the press this morning over the likes of Paul Ryan and Dick Cheney condemning the ban on Muslims as un-American, it rings just a bit hollow when most of the other candidates were happy to jump on the idea of only allowing Christian Syrians into the country and they've all stood silent as he endorsed torture and killing wives and children and rounding up and deporting 12 million undocumented workers (who he defames as rapists and criminals) along with their American children.
They're not going to abandon him. He can run as an independent and 68% of his voters say they'll stick with him if he does it. And then they'll definitely lose. No principle is so important to them that they'll knowingly jeopardize their chances.