The Republican Primaries
DOI link for The Republican Primaries
The Republican Primaries book
The 2016 Republican presidential nomination surprised all but a few observers. The nominee, Donald Trump, ran an unorthodox campaign that resembled a concert tour more than a presidential nomination campaign. This chapter looks at the process and conditions that made his nomination possible and even predictable, despite rhetoric and actions that would have sunk candidates in previous elections. The Tea Party movement, which began after the 2008 bailout of large banks and the election of Barack Obama, challenged "establishment" Republicans who held moderate positions or compromised with Barack Obama. During the invisible primary phase of the campaign, party insiders and aligned groups can influence the selection of presidential nominees if they work together to promote a candidate. In the year leading up to the 2016 primaries, Republican elites mainly sat on the sidelines waiting for a candidate to emerge. About two-thirds of Republican elite elected officials refrained from endorsing any candidate during the invisible primary.