In the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican Party faced a resounding defeat to the Democrats, with Mitt Romney losing to Barack Obama by 126 electoral votes and 3.9% of the popular vote. This was shocking to many Republicans including their top strategy Karl Rove, as most of them were expecting a comfortable Romney victory. Among many things expected to tilt public opinion in favor of Romney was the continuously sluggish economy, in addition to the Benghazi embassy attacks during a time when the Obama administration was lauding its successes in the War on Terror. Despite the many factors that Republican leaders expected to sway people away from the Democrats, they lost across a broad swath of demographics, including battleground states that were deeply affected by the ailing economy. Much of this can be attributed to the polarizing stances that both individual Republican leaders and the Republican Party as a whole seems to stand for, which may have alienated more moderate voters. Read on to find out what strategies the Republican Party might undertake to address their shrinking voter base.
In 2012, a large majority of voters aged 18-29 voted for Obama over Romney. Most analysts attribute this to many of the Republican Party’s stubborn stances on social issues, including LGBT rights, immigration, healthcare, and welfare. Especially in the case of LGBT rights and gay marriage, kids growing up in the current generation see it as almost a non issue that their LGBT peers should have all the same rights as anyone else, and the Republican Party’s stance on the issue is simply unacceptable to them. The next Republican candidate will probably try to keep LGBT dialogue to a minimum, and when grilled on the issue will probably say that it is an issue for families and individuals – not the government. While they will likely profess more support for LGBT rights on an individual level, keep in mind that their older voter base has more traditional values, making it unlikely that the Republican Party or their candidate will express with outright support for marriage equality.
Minorities were a demographic that overwhelmingly voted for Obama in 2012, making it a category of voters that the Republican Party will no doubt be courting with renewed vigor from now through 2016. Analysts say immigration law and reform will play a large role in the credibility of either party, especially with Latinos, and currently the Democrats are winning the immigration battle. Republicans will need to increase their efforts at compromising and providing workable solutions to illegal immigrants working in the US if they want to convince Latino voters that the Republican Party has their best interests in mind. Many also speculate that nominating a candidate with Latino roots such as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida will be able to mobilize the Latino vote, much like Obama’s candidacy brought out record numbers of Black voters in 2008 and 2012.