If The GOP Wants To Win The White House, It’s Time To Join Team Trump. Here’s Why.

Article CAIRCO note: 
A great historical perspective
Article author: 
Robert Swope
Article publisher: 
The Daily Caller
Article date: 
16 March 2016
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 
Since Republicans and Democrats began holding presidential primaries there have been six occasions in which the candidate receiving the most primary support did not go on to receive his party’s nomination. In five of these instances the nominee lost during the general. The only winner was Warren G. Harding in 1920 when both parties nominated the loser of their presidential primary contests.    
Until the beginning of the last century political bosses controlled the delegates who selected each party’s presidential candidate. The process was undemocratic, subject to corruption, and lacked transparency. But because the Constitution does not specify a way in which parties must select their eventual nominees, each determined its own rules for how their standard bearer was chosen.
The 1912 presidential election was the first to see delegates apportioned based on voter choice when 12 of 48 states held primary contests. This number fluctuated over the years but essentially remained the same. More than half a century later there were still only a dozen states holding primaries.  
All this changed after the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago when Hubert Humphrey, who entered the race late and did not participate in a single primary, was selected as the Democratic nominee. Humphrey, who would later lose to Richard Nixon, was the sitting Vice President and widely believed to have secured his party’s nomination due the machinations of party bosses like Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and then President Lyndon Johnson.
The defeat led to the creation of the McGovern-Fraser Commission and a major reassessment of the Democratic party’s nominating rules and procedures. The result was the elimination of the secret appointment of delegates and the awarding of a large proportion to individual candidates based on how well they did in each state’s primary or caucus. Republicans quickly followed the Democrats’ lead albeit with a few differences, (i.e. the GOP has no “superdelegates”), and today 46 states conduct presidential primaries with four holding party-run caucuses. Beginning with the 1972 election no nominee has been selected without first winning at least a plurality of support from their party’s primary voters...
History also indicates rallying behind Trump may be a good idea insofar as winning is concerned. As noted earlier, since primary contests began the nominee was someone not chosen by their party’s primary voters, that candidate lost 83 percent of the time...
There’s also the fact the party with an incumbent coming off two consecutive terms in office tends to lose. Six out of seven times since World War II an incumbent party was denied a third term in office, the exception being George H.W. Bush in 1988...
But perhaps the most important reason to support Trump is if he ends up having the nomination pulled out from under him despite being the preferred choice of a plurality of Republican primary voters, then it will send a clear message to the rank and file their preferences do not matter to the establishment, something many of them believe already...
This brings up a final, far more dangerous possibility for Republicans seeking a contested convention. If Trump can legitimately claim to deserve the nomination but does not receive it, then he will undoubtedly turn the November election into a three-way race. An exodus of party members would follow, despite appeals to unite behind whoever becomes the compromise candidate and Trump would likely pick up a number of independents and disaffected Democrats. Republicans have been claiming Trump is unelectable in the general, and whether that’s true or not is up for debate, but the fact is a third party Trump candidacy would almost certainly guarantee a Democratic victory.

This is exactly what happened in 1912. Teddy Roosevelt won the vote of the people in states hosting Republican primaries, but at the convention party bosses decided to instead run with Howard Taft...

In last Thursday’s debate all of the remaining candidates pledged to support the eventual “nominee.” They should go a step further and pledge to support the expressed will of Republican primary voters.  Anything less would mean a loss this November.