Demographics Poses A Challenge to Republicans, But It’s Not Unwinnable

Demographic shifts, Hispanic outreach, and how to make inroads with the youth have dominated conservative circles after a resounding Obama win last week.  It’s a discussion conservatives must have if they are to survive as a national political force.  Mitt Romney lost Hispanics, with almost 75% of them voting for the president, and young, single women.  Again, single women voted overwhelmingly for the president 67% to Romney’s 31%.  Some Republicans say that it was Romney’s disastrous ground game, while others say it was the party’s spring to the far right.  Regardless, the shifting demographics show that Texas, a reliably Republican state, could go blue if conservatives don’t expand their grassroots and outreach operations, especially in the Hispanic community.

Chris Wilson at Yahoo! News wrote on Nov. 13 that “the Census Bureau provides detailed estimates of population growth by race and ethnicity through 2050. The Hispanic population is expected to triple between 2008 and 2050, while the total number of white, non-Hispanic Americans will remain stagnant.”  As such, the largest bloc of guaranteed electoral votes for Republicans could go to the Democrats, which would be the death knell for the party.  They would be down, based on 2012 Electoral College, 142 electoral votes just coming out of the gate.  That is if Republicans surrender Pennsylvania to the Democrats, which may be in the works.  The state hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, and has become more of a money pit in national contests.

Yet, with all the talk about how Republicans should alter their strategies to win, which is oddly enough coming from liberal media outlets, it seems conservatives knew about these obstacles eons before Barack Obama came onto the political scene.  In fact, the AEI discussion of shifting political demographics, which was hosted back in August of 2011, seems to have been prophetic in their analysis of the changing American melting pot.

Ruy Teixeira [,senior fellow at the Center for American Progress,]  argued that trends would favor Democrats. To back his claim, he cited the growing Hispanic population and the decreasing influence of religion. Michael Barone [, of The Washington Exmainer,] agreed with Mr. Teixeira, but concluded instead that demographics of the preceding decade would not necessarily continue in the same direction. In one example he referenced lower inflow of Mexican immigrants to U.S. due to economic problems.

However, it’s undeniable that the Millennial generation is the most liberal generation, who will soon give Democrats a +20 party identification advantage by 2020.  Furthermore, Americans who identify themselves as secular are the fastest growing ‘religious’ group in the U.S.  By the mid-2020s, they’ll constitute almost 25% of all adults in the country, which may make some aspects of Republican social policy unpalatable.

This is not to say that we should liberalize.  We just need to be smarter, and target certain demographics who are more malleable to the conservative cause that will produce the results we need to win.  Hispanics is where Republicans and conservative should focus their energy.  However, we must tread carefully in our messaging because they’re the Democrats’ demographic to lose at this point.

Originally posted at The Young Cons.

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Matt Vespa

I'm a staunch Republican and a politics junkie who was recently the Executive Director for the Dauphin County Republican Committee in Harrisburg. Before that, I interned with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2011 and Mary Pat Christie, First Lady of NJ, within the Office of the Governor of NJ in 2010. I was responsible for updating his personal contact list. My first political internship was with Tom Kean Jr's. U.S. Senate campaign in 2006.

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