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#ILefttheGOP campaign launched by Never-Trump strategist

subtlety is not their strong suit © Reuters / Michael McCoy

28.1.2020

Disaffected ex-Republicans are sharing their stories on social media as the seemingly-unbreakable two-party duopoly approaches peak unpopularity with American voters with less than a year to go before the 2020 election.

The hashtag #ILefttheGOP was trending on Monday as self-described former Republicans shared what made them exit party ranks – whether to join the Democrats, or to vote independently. It was created by former Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus, who left the party after a disastrous encounter with the president’s 2016 campaign and has been a strident “never-Trumper” ever since. 

Perhaps predictably, many cited US President Donald Trump as their reason for leaving the party.

Angela David@stlmama2tweets

#ILeftTheGOP I left after the first Rep. Debate of the 2016 season where everyone was trashing Planned Parenthood & that Trump was even allowed onstage was disgusting to me.

I’m ashamed I ever voted Republican – they were never in line w/ my values.

ThisMayNotEndWell@peabodypress

#ILeftTheGOP after 20+ years after the GOP revealed they were all in for Trump at the Republican convention.

I can’t support a man who is morally & ethically bankrupt. I sure as hell won’t support a party who chooses to enable him.

But plenty of other reasons came up – from endless war to religious hypocrisy to…Hollywood films.

Andrew Yang’s Hologram @yang_hologram

#ILeftTheGOP in the early 2000’s. After the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, and a dozen other things under Bush/Cheney, my conscience was shaken.

I don’t really feel that I left them so much as they have left our nation falling apart.

This year, we need a rebuilder.

Bruce Bartlett@BruceBartlett

#ILeftTheGOP in 2006 because I was appalled by George W. Bush’s stupidity and voted in the Democratic primary that year to mark the occasion. I have been happily independent since then.

Brandon Straka, former Democrat and creator of the #WalkAway movement, cried foul, accusing “the left” of “trying to copy #WalkAway” and implying Jacobus was running a fake campaign.

Brandon Straka@BrandonStraka

😂

So the left is now trying to copy #WalkAway with some stupid thing called #ILeftTheGOP.
I know.
Of all the #WalkAway copycats with terrible branding and execution, this lead balloon will be one of the most fun to watch try to get an inch off the ground.9,1946:43 PM – Jan 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy2,922 people are talking about this

Others agreed the hashtag looked fishy,

Lilly K Kuster Text TRUMP to 88022@lillykkReplying to @FallenGamer13

Fake hashtag #ILeftTheGOP pure and simple. #GOP is stronger and growing than ever.14:21 PM – Jan 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy19 people are talking about this

Will Chamberlain @willchamberlain

Looks like Mitt Romney created a hashtag#ILeftTheGOP20311:38 PM – Jan 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy57 people are talking about this

or tried to reason with its proponents by pointing out ways in which the Democratic Party was worse.

𝓛𝓲𝓼𝓪@Rockprincess818

😂
😭

Unfettered immigration
Open borders
Welfare State
No restriction late-term abortion
$92 Trillion dollars green scam
Medicare for Dummies
Non-binary gender fluid nonsense

This hashtag #ILeftTheGOP makes you in favor of that shitstorm agenda….good riddance. 18210:03 PM – Jan 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy106 people are talking about this

warbunny@jneumonicllReplying to @LauriesVoice and 3 others

🤔

Haha, and the other side wants to run the show like a socialist dictatorship… have you really thought this through???10:35 PM – Jan 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee warbunny’s other Tweets

While a few ex-GOPers seemed to have wasted no time jumping from the frying pan of one party into the fire of another, adding a cringeworthy “vote blue no matter who!” to their tweeted testimonials, not everyone who has left the clutches of the Republicans has rushed headlong into the tentacles of the Democrats.

Both parties are experiencing near-record levels of unpopularity. A Gallup poll from earlier this month showed just 27 percent of Americans identify as Republican and just 27 percent as Democrats. Some 45 percent identify as Independents – approaching the highest-ever percentage of 47 percent, most recently recorded in late 2014. Asked whether they leaned more toward the Democratic or Republican parties, independents were almost evenly split, with 46 percent leaning Democratic to the 45 that leaned Republican. 

The existence of an increasingly vocal independent segment of the American voting populace doesn’t mean that an anti-Trump group wouldn’t have good reason to launch a divide-and-conquer campaign against the GOP at this time. Jacobus is a political strategist, after all. With the vote on whether or not to remove Trump from office looming large in a Republican-dominated Senate, the anti-Trump contingent needs to convince at least 20 Republican senators to break rank with the party if it actually wants to remove the president from office – more, if any Democrat votes not to remove him. Their job becomes much easier if they can convince Republicans that the president is damaging their party by driving voters away.

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