WASHINGTON, Nov 7, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 07th Nov, 2016 ) - Even if, as most polls predict, he loses Tuesday's US presidential election, Donald Trump's populist charge will leave its mark on the American body politic. The 70-year-old billionaire tycoon is the Republican flag-bearer even though part of the Grand Old Party's establishment has rejected him, and others are voting for him while holding their noses. But Trump has managed to craft his own political brand, building a movement among the party's disaffected rank-and-file.
Asked whether Trump or House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking Republican elected official, better represent the party's values, 51 percent of members choose Trump and 33 percent favor Ryan. As the presidential race comes down to the wire, and the right faces the prospect of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House, some party leaders are coming back to the fold. But Trump has divided the party, both with his brash style and by overturning conservative orthodoxy with his opposition to free trade, isolationist foreign policy and flexible stance on welfare and deficits.
The maverick newcomer has even campaigned for paid parental leave, anathema to the small-government conservative right. "Basically, the Republican leadership hates Trump," Robert Shapiro, professor of political science at Columbia University, told AFP. "They would like his supporters, but his supporters are attached to Trump," he warned, predicting that the phenomenon Trump calls his "movement" will continue after Election Day. "His supporters are still going to be there, and they are going to have their positions on trade and immigration and all these other issues," Shapiro said. "And what will also remain is the hate for the Democrats and Hillary Clinton and also the mainstream Republican Party."