Skip to comments.After Romney loss, GOP soul searching begins
Posted on 11/07/2012 12:42:40 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Mitt Romney's loss on Tuesday laid bare a Republican demographic problem that, if not addressed, could transform the GOP into a permanent minority party.
Romney dominated among white voters, who made up 72 percent of the electorate: He won that group by 20 percentage points, according to the national exit poll. But he was crushed among Latinos, who broke for President Obama 71 percent to 27 percent.
The former group is shrinking as a portion of the electorate. In 1988, they were 85 percent of all voters. By the year 2000, that was down to 81 percent. It's fallen nine more points since them. The Latino population, meanwhile, is growing at a staggering pace: Latinos accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase between 2000 and 2010, according to the 2010 census. The black and Asian vote, which also broke overwhelmingly for the president, is also growing. Blacks were 13 percent of the electorate this year, up from 10 percent in 1988; Asians have risen from one percent of the electorate to three percent over the past two decades.
It's a demographic reality that already has some Republicans calling for a new course in the wake of Romney's defeat.
"The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it, and Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them," said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
On "CBS This Morning" today, newly-elected Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz argued that "the values in the Hispanic community are fundamentally conservative, but you've got to have candidates that connect with that community in a real and genuine way and communicate that the values between the candidate and the community are one and the same."
Romney's weakness among Latinos cost him dearly in the battleground states of Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and Florida; if future Republican candidates don't perform better among that group, red states like Arizona and even Texas are on a path to become battlegrounds themselves.
"Immigration has caused the Republican Party to leave votes on the table," Gary Segura of Latino Decisions said Wednesday. Pointing to the president's margin of victory, he argued that "For the first time in American history, the Latino vote can plausibly claim to be nationally decisive."
The GOP's demographic problems don't just break down along racial lines. Voters under 30 supported the president 60 percent to 37 percent, and voters between 30 and 44 years old backed Mr. Obama by seven percentage points. Some of these voters may become more conservative as they grow older. But rapidly shifting views suggest they almost certainly will not embrace the GOP's opposition to same-sex marriage. And young women, who overwhelmingly backed the president, will most likely continue to oppose Republicans when it comes to access to contraceptive health care coverage and abortion rights. Al Cardenas, the head of the American Conservative Union, bluntly told Politico that his party "needs to realize that it's too old and too white and too male and it needs to figure out how to catch up with the demographics of the country before it's too late."
The question now facing Republicans is whether they shift toward the middle or instead try to appeal to growing demographic groups while staying planted firmly on the right side of the political spectrum. There are those who will look at the past two presidential cycles, in which relatively moderate Republican nominees fell short, and conclude that the party needs to nominate a true believer willing to stand behind core conservative principles. Rubio, who is already being discussed as a leading 2016 presidential contender, is the kind of candidate that could energize those who want to reach out to new types of voters without abandoning the party's beliefs.
John Hudak of the Brookings Institution argues that the best past forward for the GOP is to move - slowly - toward positions that hold appeal for groups that voted for Mr. Obama this year.
"If they move too quickly to the middle, it's going to alienate a lot of people in their party," he said. Fifty-nine percent of voters in the exit poll said abortion should be legal, but if Republicans suddenly embrace abortion rights, evangelicals and values voters could abandon the GOP. If they shift leftward too quickly on fiscal issues, it could prompt Tea Partiers and libertarians to do the same.
Hudak said the GOP's handling of same-sex marriage provides a template. In the 2004 election, Republicans used opposition to same-sex marriage to drive voters to the polls. But as attitudes shifted, Republicans for the most part simply stopped talking about the issue.
"That's the first step to neutralizing these social issues," he said. "It's not to change your mind. It's just to not speak your mind. And that way people can think this isn't that aggressive party anymore, and it opens the door for them to vote for you based on other issues."
"It's definitely a challenge," Hudak added, "but I don't think it's insurmountable."
Of course, what the GOP-E will do is keep jamming the pointy stick into their eye, hoping that it will hurt less if they keep doing it.
Soul searching? Conservatives will once again ask why the GOP-E thinks RINO squishes are viable nominees, and the GOP-E will continue to insist that RINO squishes are viable nominees.
Just saying, I loved Paul Ryan, but I was hoping Susana Martinez was going to be put on the ticket.
She would have sealed FL, NM, CO, and NV.
Look no further than the political pawn shop...
BS. The country has gone socialist. Its time to go John Gault, not time to chase the sheep.
There will be a train wreck, the sooner the better.
I am so sick and tired of hearing from libs telling US what to do about OUR party..we have to adore abortion, we have to let illegal aliens become citizens..you want to abort your baby, vote for the Dem party..I am NOT going to kiss the Dem party’s ass just to gain a few votes. Meanwhile you have the Dem party BOOING God and Israel and no one tells the Dems that they have to get rid of their “Extremists” yet its the Republicans who have to kiss the asses of the “Moderates” screw that..I am sticking to my Conservative beliefs!
Oh goodie. The old conservative CBS is going to explain it all to us. Take a hike, grifters. Go make a series about a news outfit that won’t cover the news. Any publicly held company that advertises on a media outlet that refuses to tell the truth about Benghazi, has management that is guilty of failing to take proper care of the shareholder’s hard earned money.
Perhaps, there needs to be a better method of vetting viable candidates rather than let it be a free-for-all like we were just subjected to.
Next, get a plan with stringent ideas and stick to them. Don't be all over the board.
Get rid of the elite, country club republicans who would rather lose than win. And, develop a nation wide machine in each state that motivates to base and other parts of electorate. That is what the dems. did.
Soul searching ie move to the left is what CBS means.
America has tipped.
It will never come back.
The experiment is over.
The NEA has successfully created a culture in which we now have 51% takers as opposed to workers.
We can now run as right a candidate as we desire or run dem lites- it will not matter.
The meaner guy won the election. The guy who chose not to talk about Benghazi when the entire country was watching LOST. Maybe next time we nominate someone who is willing to fight for the job.
The House should let it be sooner by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. They should allow sequestration, open the borders, and let Obama raise taxes. Buy ammo, popcorn, and watch the country blow up in flames. The fit will be here to lead in the aftermath.
&^$% you CBS. I refuse to consume the crap you are offering.
So, who’s next on the GOP-E’s Russian roulette carousel?
I think Martinez was smart enough to realize she would have gotten Palin-ized - she said up front thanks, but no thanks.
Concur. Women who dress up in vaginas want “free” birth control paid for by me so they can spread their legs whenever they are in heat and have an abortion if necessary. Anyone who dare speaks against this, or suggest modesty or self restraint is anti-woman and will never get their vote.
KEEP YOUR STINKIN’ VOTE.
These are the people I am supposed to “go after”?
Another smoke blower.
The bottom line is liberals create and maintain constituents via social programs and the perpetuation of victimization.
Conservative alienate constituents via responsibility and expectations.
I agree - tired of apologizing for my beliefs and having to compromise. If they thought this election was polarized...
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