Pints and Politics: Trump will "define Republicans for years to come"

Jun 14, 2016

With the sun setting on a primary season full of surprises, Iowans can expect more of the unexpected as the nominees head towards the party conventions.

On this special edition of River to River, co-hosts Ben Kieffer of Iowa Public Radio and Jennifer Hemmingsen of The Gazette sit down in front of a live audience in Cedar Rapids with The Gazette’s investigative reporter James Lynch, and columnists Lynda Waddington and Todd Dorman.

They give their thoughts on Iowa races as well as the race for the White House. Below are some highlights from the discussion.

Todd Dorman, Lynda Waddington, and James Lynch
Credit John Pemble

What will Donald Trump’s run for president mean for the Republican Party in the long term?

“He’s going to define Republicans for many years to come,” says Dorman. "Who was with him, who was against him, who fought the nomination, who didn’t? I think that’s going to be a label a lot of Republicans are going to have to wear going forward.”

What will happen to the Bernie Sanders movement, what many supporters call a political “revolution”?

“I can foresee a real fight at the convention with Sanders followers trying to influence the platform, trying to push Hillary Clinton farther towards the left or the progressive viewpoint,” says Lynch. “The race may be over, but I don’t think the fight is over.”

Every few years it’s said that the current election the most important election, or the one with most at stake. Is it true this time?

“Definitely the Supreme Court,” says Waddington, of why this election holds particular importance. “I think we’re in a situation where you not only have the empty seat that’s available now, but you have Ginsberg and several others who are closing in on the end of their lives, and I think the next president or the following will have an opportunity to really shape the court.”