The people have spoken and the results are in. I’m not talking about the electoral victories—and defeats—racked up by various presidential candidates in the last several weeks, but rather about the deeper motivations behind these voting patterns.
Exit polling from recent presidential primary contests in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina tells a clear story about the state of the electorate: Republican voters are dissatisfied with their own party. In Ohio, 57 percent of Republicans said they felt betrayed by the party. In North Carolina, it was 56 percent.
It’s increasingly clear that the GOP establishment can’t be trusted to deliver on its campaign promises, or even to adhere to the party’s official platform. This realization is translating into big trouble at the ballot box; just ask Marco Rubio.
Frustration with the Washington establishment underscores the importance of the House Freedom Caucus, the 40 or so Republicans who have had enough of the broken promises, the constant surrenders, and the abject failure of leadership to stand up and fight for anything meaningful. Despite heavy arm-twisting, these members are refusing to support a budget that doesn’t cut spending, much to the chagrin of the new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.
An unwillingness to push for real solutions to the troubles plaguing our economy is a widespread source of frustration. Voters of both parties overwhelmingly told pollsters that they were worried about the economy, understandable given that we are currently mired in the weakest recovery in more than 50 years, where jobs continue to be scarce and take home pay has flatlined.