Are the Republican party facing a 'change or die' moment? Obama's pretty strong win has obviously shocked them.
- Did they lose the election because they were badly organised and/or Romney was a bad candidate?
- Or did they lose the election because their basic message is a turn off for far too many non-whites and women?
Are The Republicans off-message for a modern American electorate?
I agree that rhetoric and perception are a big part of the problem that Republicans face with minorities, but I also think that policy is an issue. Many have pointed out that social conservatism in itself might appeal to many Latinos, who poll as fairly traditional Catholics. But the stance taken on immigration reform--fairly extreme in some quarters of the party--will always hamstring them in trying to win significant numbers of the Latino vote. On the other hand, the states where the Latino vote really "broke" for Obama were not necessarily swing states. I do think, though (and I'll confess that this is a view reflecting my own bias) that the country is moving away from some of the more reactionary aspects of modern conservatism. But that can change.
I think it is unlikely that any president could succeed with only the white vote. Non-whites are not insignificant. They never were, and they should not be treated as such by any political party.
Theoretically, you could win the presidency with only white votes. Non-whites were 28% of the electorate in this election. If whites are 72% of the electorate, you need to win about 75% of them to get to 50%. Of course, the idea of winning 75% of white votes is pretty far-fetched.
I think the GOP needs to project a more positive message about what they are for and how what they are for will help someone other than the wealthy. I don't think they need to change a lot of actual policies, but they need to sell them much better, in a way that shows that they actually care about the poor and minorities.