Originally Published on Campaigns and Elections
October 3, 2014
The Republican Party has spent the last two years trying to figure out what went wrong in 2012, and what needs to happen for the party to retake the White House. This is a complex question, and one that doesn’t have an easy answer.
One startling fact that has crept into the consciousness of many Republicans is that Mitt Romney received only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. Others have made the point that even if he had done much better with Hispanic voters, the former governor of Massachusetts still would not have defeated President Obama. Part of the problem is that too many Republicans stayed home in 2012.
Even if we agree that there’s not an easy solution to fix the problem of future competitiveness in national elections, we can also agree it would be a good thing for the GOP to expand the party. We can do that by taking demographic changes seriously. Otherwise it will be next to impossible in the next few decades for Republicans to win the presidency.
If the GOP is going to compete everywhere, from the local level up to the presidential, it must do a better job of outreach to Hispanic and Asian-American voters, among other groups.
Some GOP lawmakers are taking this kind of outreach seriously. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, whose reelection I’m managing, has tasked his campaign team with making inroads with Hispanic and Asian-American voters. He wants these voting groups to support the GOP, not just in 2014 but also in 2016 and beyond.
Brendan Steinhauser is a national political strategist focused on campaigns, media, and public policy.