Ironically enough, to attract more white voters, the GOP needs to attract more minorities
Alex Roarty NAILS IT:
What a difference nine months makes. After November’s decisive electoral verdict, Republican leaders vowed to make the party more popular among minorities. Listen to some of the GOP’s top thinkers now, however, and you’re as likely to hear talk about “missing” white voters as efforts to court other groups. Rather than making inroads among minorities, the party is plotting to win more blue-collar whites, as House Republicans have come to view immigration reform—once regarded as the centerpiece of the GOP’s renewed pitch to Latinos—as a political loser. The chatter amounts to an unofficial announcement that, despite the postelection hand-wringing, the GOP isn’t staying awake at night worrying about its lack of diversity.
“Democrats liked to mock the GOP as the ‘Party of White People’ after the 2012 elections,” wrote political analyst Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics, in a widely read argument about why immigration reform wasn’t politically essential for the GOP. “But from a purely electoral perspective, that’s not a terrible thing to be. Even with present population projections, there are likely to be a lot of non-Hispanic whites in this country for a very long time.”
But if the GOP determines that its future lies with an all-out pursuit of whites, it might find an unwanted surprise. Some white voters, particularly young ones, won’t align themselves with a party that can’t attract support from Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians. To attract more white voters, the GOP, ironically, might first need to attract more minorities.
That’s the central dilemma of any plan to win with a nearly all-white coalition. As the minority share grows with each presidential election, Republicans would need to win a greater and greater percentage of the white vote to prevail. That challenge proved insurmountable last year, when Mitt Romney won nearly 60 percent of white voters and still lost. In his rebuttal to Republicans who don’t feel an urgency to attract minorities, Karl Rove wrote in June in The Wall Street Journal that Romney would have had to have won 62.54 percent of all white voters to top President Obama—almost the same share Ronald Reagan won during his 49-state landslide victory in 1984. As the minority vote grows—and it surely will between now and 2016—that figure will rise.