The GOP’s demographic challenge
Republicans nationally have been licking their chops over the prospects of midterm election gains, with doubts about the Affordable Care Act the lead card the GOP will play in many races. But however bright the short-term outlook for the party might be, without a major reworking of Republican positions and platform planks the long-term picture may be considerably more ominous.
The problem is one of demography. Today’s Republican Party does miserably among minority voters, and those groups, especially Hispanics, are accounting for an increasingly larger share of the US population. The demographic shift was highlighted last week in a report released by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. As of July of 2012, the study reported, minorities accounted for 47 percent of the 82.5 million people in the country under 20 years of age. In 1990, that figure was just 32 percent. By 2043, the US Census Bureau projects, non-Hispanic whites will no longer represent a majority of the US population.
Low minority support for Republicans has already been a drag on their national candidates. That will only become magnified if current trends continue.
“The math isn’t complicated,” writes the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza. “Winning 27 percent of the Hispanic vote and 6 percent of the African American vote – as [Mitt] Romney did in 2012 – makes it hard to win a majority of the overall vote when those groups represent 10 percent and 13 percent of the electorate, respectively. If Hispanics increase to 20 percent of the electorate by 2024 or 2028, and the Republican presidential nominee’s performance is roughly equivalent to Romney’s 2012 showing, it will be impossible – or close to impossible – for that GOP nominee to win a national majority.”
There are, of course, all sorts of ways political leanings could become realigned over the next couple of decades, so demography is not iron-clad destiny when it comes to projecting the impact of these population changes.
Immigration reform looms at the top of the list of issues that Republicans must grapple with if they are to have any hope of making inroads with Hispanic voters. The GOP leadership gets it, but seems to have no clue that it’s up to them to bring their recalcitrant underlings along.
House Speaker John Boehner lit into fellow Republicans last week in a speech in his Ohio district, saying many members of his caucus are whiny wimps when it comes to taking a tough vote to reform immigration laws.
“Here’s the attitude,” he told a local Rotary club gathering. “‘Ohhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhh. This is too hard.’ We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to… They’ll take the path of least resistance.”
That path may be easier in the short-run, but down the road it will make for perilous traveling.
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Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch has asked the police department to investigate how dozens of records of city military veterans containing private information were taken from the veterans’ services office and found strewn across a public park.
Gay rights activists strike out into more conservative territory.
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Suffolk University will have all faculty, including tenured professors, undergo performance reviews, which could lead to dismissal. Faculty are not happy.
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A program to combat child obesity by a professor at Merrimack College and several YMCA branches gets private funding to expand nationally, the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Berkshire health officials are taking additional steps to regulate e-cigarettes.
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Investigators are trying to determine who was the target of a pipe bomb left in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield yesterday that had to be detonated.MEDIA
A documentary on Barney Frank produced by Alec Baldwin premiers at the TriBeCa Film Festival, NECN reports.