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The Republican party has moved so far to the right that they have lost the center. Most American voters are somewhere in the center, leaning sometimes left and sometimes right depending on the issue. But by trying to tie increasing the debt limit and threatening the economy as well as the full faith and credit of the nation, the house Republicans are alienating most voters.
Voter disapproval of the GOP is at an all time high with almost 3/4 of the electorate disapproving of the actions of the house Republicans and tea party. This surely will be reflected in the 2014 mid term elections. Recent polling shows that as many as 29 house districts may flip from red to blue when it was brought up that the representative supported the shut down. All it takes is for 17 districts to flip and the Democratic party takes control of the House of Representatives.
Then as the GOP looks over their presidential candidates for 2016, what are they seeing? What it is is a divide between the tea party supporters and the more pragmatic state governnors. Assuming that New Jersey governor Chris Christie wins re-election next month, he is surely the front runner for POTUS in the GOP for 2016. But he will face headwinds from the tea party supporters who might be favoring Ted Cruz. This divide threatens to tear the GOP apart making the 2016 presidential election one that the Democratic candidate would be favored to win handily.
No matter what the outcome of this shut down and threatened default; the issue will continue to dog the Republican party well into the 2016 campaign. Democratic candidates will have a field day using these as campaign issues as well as the GOP's kowtowing to Big Business at the expense of the "little guy".
As the "silent generation" (those born who were too young to fight in the second world war and before the baby boom" dies off over the next decade, this will definitely hurt the GOP. Those members of the "silent generation" are being replaced by "millennials" who are more attracted to the Democratic party. The younger generation is more engaged politically and is more diverse, less white and more tolerant. In the 2012 presidential election, "millennials" voted more than 60% for President Obama. If the GOP continues to alienate this younger generation, then it may be a very long time before there is a Republican in the white house again.