The impossible GOP pivot
According to Ruy Texeira, who studies demographic changes and the electorate, the Republican do have a path to victory. Greg Sargent interviewed him today and it boils down to this:
The strategy of focusing on white voters presupposes that Republicans have a lot more room to move among that part of the population. If their path is just to forget about the minority vote and concentrate on increasing the white vote, they might have to reach the support Reagan got in 1984 — 63 or 64 percent of the white vote. Or white turnout would have to increase enough beyond its normal pattern so the share of the minority vote does not increase by two points. That would need a one-sided mobilization of whites. That’s implausible.
If Republicans run a whites-oriented, hard core conservative campaign, swing-ish, moderate, college-educated whites in the GOP coalition may desert to the other side. And it could also drive up the minority vote for Democrats.
The better path for Republicans would be to speak to the white voters who are already disenchanted — there’s been a relatively slow recovery, and there’s time-for-a-change sentiment and populism out there — without necessarily running a hard core campaign. Republicans could have a more economically oriented populism — without being so forthrightly anti-government, anti-social change, and anti-immigrant — and stand a better chance of appealing to white college educated voters and attenuating the Democratic advantage among minorities. If Republicans could get Democratic support among minorities down to 75 percent — and work both sides of the equation — there are more ways to win.
I suppose it's possible that the eventual Republican nominee will be able to pivot from the race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigotry of this primary campaign. And maybe they can stimulate their white base to come out with a nice mainstream appeal to minorities. But they might want to check in with Mitt Romney before they formulate their strategy. He's probably got some thoughts.
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Happy Hollandaise everyone!