Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, poses with an Elvis impersonator at a campaign rally Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, consults with alleged Russian Mob fixer, Paul Manafort, before selling bullsh** to the GOP. (AP Photo/John Locher;caption by streiff)

One of the constant claim that Donald Trump makes is that he has invigorated the GOP and brought out “millions” of new voters. If that were true then it might, in some small way, mitigate his amorality and imbecility. If you believe that winning is all that is important — and if you are in politics for the sake of power, it is hard to argue against this position — then Trump’s ability to bring in new voters is, itself, justification for almost any sort of douchebaggery Trump exhibits. For instance,

Donald Trump’s top brass addressed a skeptical audience of Republican National Committee members here Thursday evening, presenting a detailed case for why he’d be able to defeat Hillary Clinton in a general election.

During a more than one-hour meeting on the third floor of the Diplomat, a luxury resort overlooking the South Florida oceanfront where RNC members are gathered for their annual spring meeting, Trump strategists Paul Manafort and Rick Wiley argued that the New York businessman would expand the number of states in which Republicans would be competitive during the fall campaign. They also said that Trump would be able to add to the states the GOP carried in 2012.

Unfortunately for the GOP, this claim is just as truthful as any other statement made by Donald Trump, which is to say it is simply a lie. The fact that an alleged Russian mob fixer and the most incompetent campaign manager in the history of the universe were sent to pitch the story should have been a clue.

Donald Trump likes to say he has created a political movement that has drawn “millions and millions” of new voters into the Republican Party. “It’s the biggest thing happening in politics,” Trump has said. “All over the world, they’re talking about it,” he’s bragged.

But a Politico analysis of the early 2016 voting data show that, so far, it’s just not true.

While Trump’s insurgent candidacy has spurred record-setting Republican primary turnout in state after state, the early statistics show that the vast majority of those voters aren’t actually new to voting or to the Republican Party, but rather they are reliable past voters in general elections. They are only casting ballots in a Republican primary for the first time.

It is a distinction with profound consequences for the fall campaign.

The article has this graphic

trump voters

In short, what the data show is that while Trump is increasing the turnout in the GOP primary (at one time, this would have been thought of as a positive but after seeing WHAT Trump motivates to vote, maybe low participation is a good thing) the people he is turning out were already regular GOP voters in the general election. And Trump is not getting cross-over votes from disaffected Democrats. If South Carolina is a model, first time voters and cross over Democrats were represented in the same numbers as they were in 2012. Trump’s turnout was driven by previously registered Republicans who were voting for the first time in a GOP primary.

This means that the states Trump is actually putting into play are not Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. but rather solid GOP states like Georgia, which was GOP +8 in 2012 and now Trump has reduced that to GOP +1 versus Clinton.

The GOP leadership has bought into this nonsense and now they deserve whatever disaster befalls them.