GOP strategist: If Republicans keep acting like fools at Trump’s trial they can kiss swing voters goodbye | Opinion

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Sometimes I wonder if Republicans really want to win elections. Take for example, the steady stream of GOP lawmakers and vice presidential wannabes dressed alike in blue suits and red ties outside the courthouse in New York City recently.

Let’s ignore for a moment the fact Members of Congress are missing or rescheduling votes to be in New York City and consider the message we are sending to swing voters when they see the the speaker of the house and members of the Freedom Caucus standing outside a courthouse defending our party’s nominee for president against allegations that he criminally violated N.Y. law when he paid hush money to Stormy Daniels.

Voters see this for what it is — a display of loyalty to Donald Trump and auditions to be his vice president. The problem is that this clown show leaves voters wondering if Republicans truly believe in the rule of law or if “law and order” is just a buzzword used to attack Democrats.

Without question, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s charges are politically motivated. While “lawfare” — using the legal system to delegitimize an opponent — is a great issue for the base and a powerful fundraising appeal, it is not what swing voters are most concerned with.

Instead of talking about rising prices or how to fix our broken immigration system, those flocking to the trial use their time to complain about keeping Trump off the campaign trail and call the trial election interference. To swing voters, this sounds foolish. If campaigning was that important to them, those same members of Congress would be Trump surrogates in battleground states or Trump would be flying nightly on his plane to campaign rallies across the country.

Speaking of rallies, crowd size is not an indication that Trump is winning. Sure, the New Jersey rally was impressive with its massive crowds, but at the end of the day, it’s meaningless. Don’t believe me? In 2004, John Kerry also got huge crowds. One event, in Philadelphia with Bill Clinton, was estimated at 80,000 to 100,000 people.

It’s the same type of foolishness when we declare the election over because the New York Times/Siena College poll shows Trump winning in five critical battleground states. Polling is not a sports score, but rather a snapshot in time based on the analysis of a pollster and their assumptions about turnout and demographics. At its heart, polling is just a statistical guess.

For strategists, we use polling to look at trends, how people view issues and what messages we can use to motivate you. Polling we see in the media is used to shape public opinion — they are not an indication of winning or losing.

We can’t hang our hopes on rallies and polling.

What’s at stake in 2024 is more than Trump. We have a country to save, and we need to win — not just the presidency, but the House and Senate. Equally important is that we win governor, attorney general and secretary of state races nationwide, as well as state legislature races.

If we continue to look foolish to voters, they will not trust us and they will not vote for us.

Meanwhile, progressives have unveiled their agenda. Included in their seven-page document are several key measures: increasing the federal minimum wage to $17/hour, incorporating provisions of the Green New Deal, implementing new federal voting rights mandates, eliminating the Senate filibuster, creating a path to citizenship for people in the U.S. illegally, and expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court and implementing term limits on the court.

While progressives propose an agenda that radically changes America, Republicans are too busy with grievance politics and photo-ops.

Republicans, the world is watching what we do. We have a chance in this moment in time to seize the opportunity and outline our vision for a better future. We have a chance to use the media to tell our story and advance our ideals. Do better. The future of the republic is at stake.

Matt Wylie is a Republican political strategist and analyst who lives on Hilton Head Island. He has worked on federal, state and local campaigns.