An upcoming RNC study takes a look at successful Republican candidates’ approaches to winning votes from minorities and women in the latest midterm election cycle.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Acknowledging mistakes is hard. Ignoring and repeating them is inexcusable. If the November elections bring disaster for the Republican Party, let no one say that the GOP has the right to make excuses.
That’s one takeaway of an intriguing new report, still yet to be released, commissioned by the Republican National Committee. The report, “2016 Election Principles,” was drafted by Newt Gingrich and reads as a treetop analysis of the GOP’s electoral track record over the past four years: highs, lows and lessons learned. It’s a clarion call to Donald Trump—as well as House and Senate candidates hoping to amass a winning coalition.
The GOP’s 2012 “autopsy” was endlessly chewed over. So when things turned around in 2014 and 2015, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Mr. Gingrich teamed up to figure out what had gone right. What lessons had been learned? The resulting 20-page report synthesizes 30-odd “principles” that Mr. Gingrich presents as a framework for 2016 success.
The real meat is a section that addresses the GOP’s most unanswered challenge: Winning minorities and women. “Demography is not destiny,” the report optimistically notes. “Demography is opportunity.” A series of case studies shows that Republicans can make gains among the Democratic base—if they do it right.
It would be hard to do it more wrong than Mitt Romney in 2012. He paid scant attention to the minority community and flubbed on “self-deportation” and “binders full of women.” On election night Mr. Romney lost black voters 93% to 6%. He lost women 55% to 44%. He lost black women 97% to 3%—and the standing joke is that those three must have pulled the wrong lever.
Mr. Romney lost Hispanics 71% to 27%. In Colorado he lost them 75% to 23%; in Nevada, 71% to 24%; in Virginia, 64% to 33%. All three of those states wound up in Barack Obama’s column. Had Mr. Romney matched George W. Bush’s 44% among Hispanics in 2004, he’d be running for re-election now.
The RNC’s new report narrates the 2014 counterexamples of Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, who won stunning victories in states they were expected to lose. They did it not with minority “outreach” but with “inclusion.”
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