Pro-Reagan Writer: GOP needs unity or will fail

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tags: election 2016, GOP, GOP Convention



Let us recall the 1980 presidential election, when almost every one of Ronald Reagan’s primary opponents addressed the Republican National Convention in Detroit that year. These prime-time appearances helped produce a unified convention, a unified party and a mighty candidate who went on to score a historic victory that November, says Craig Shirley, a best-selling presidential historian and Reagan biographer.

Things don’t appear quite so convivial 36 years later.

“In 2016, few of Donald Trump’s primary opponents have or will address the Cleveland convention, thus potentially ensuring a divided party,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway, adding that the absence of significant elected officials, plus “heavy-handed tactics used by the GOP establishment to quash any opposition to Trump” could prompt a divided convention.

“If we learn anything from history, it is that united conventions tend to win in the fall while divided conventions tend to lose in the fall. For the GOP, they were divided in 1964, 1976, 1992, 2008 and 2012. In each case, the GOP went on to lose in the fall. The Democrats, conversely, were divided in 1968, 1972, and 1980 and went on to lose that fall,” the historian continues."




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