“I just felt sick to my stomach. This is not the Republican Party I believed in.”
The violent assault that took place on Wednesday in Washington by a mob of right-wing extremists who stormed the Capitol building may have prompted some Florida residents to leave the Republican Party. And more defections could be coming.
The Miami-Dade County Elections Department reported 708 switches in the state’s most populous county, while the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office reported 497 in Palm Beach County, both in just a day and a half.
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But although, according to an analysis by the Sun Sentinel, the numbers may appear small, they are significant. The Capitol building riot is the reason given by people when they call-in asking how to switch parties, the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office says.
“I Felt Sick to My Stomach”
The violent assault that claimed six lives and has Democrats calling for Trump’s impeachment has led some Latino Republicans to break with tradition.
In a large number of Hispanic families, several generations—from grandparents to grandchildren—tend to affiliate with the same party, and changing to “the other side” may be seen as disloyal to the family. However, the Trump-induced attack proved too much for one disillusioned voter.
“I dread my parents finding out,” a 46-year-old Cuban American businesswoman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Americano. “Our entire family has always voted Republican, and they think this Trump thing is a one-off and things will get back to normal. But after seeing how so many in the party were an accomplice to this [assault], I just felt sick to my stomach. This is not the Republican Party I believed in.”
However, she has not signed up as a new Democrat. She is now registered as an NPA or one with “no party affiliation.” But, she says, she is at least “willing to listen to the other side.”
Does It Signal a Future Trend?
Although it may be too early to make sweeping assumptions, this clearly signals a discontent with the Republican Party; one that may result in more defections from the GOP.
“The phone bank was reporting that it was mostly Republicans… changing to no party,” Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link told the Sentinel. “[They were] saying that they were disgusted and didn’t want to be part of any party anymore, mostly, and they didn’t like the direction the country was going.”
But it’s not only voters who are severing ties with Trump or the Republican party. In fact, longtime Trump loyalists, like Vice President Mike Pence, have broken with the president over his fight to reverse the election result. And across the nation groups long associated with conservatism, such as the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers, have denounced Trump’s efforts to invalidate the results.
“I once said the party of Lincoln and Reagan is off taking a nap,” former Republican House speaker John Boehner wrote on Thursday. “The nap has become a nightmare for our nation.”