After President Obama’s pronounced victory over Mitt Romney campaign advisors and political strategists are dissecting the months leading up to November 6th. One major conversation topic has been that of the changing demographics in the United States. As of the 2007 Census 12.6% of the entire US population was was born outside of this country with 54% of that population originating from Latin America. Additionally, during the 10 year period from 2000 to 2010 the Latino population increased by 43% in the US. With such a substantial change in demographics there are bound to be changes in voting patterns as well.
In a New York Times article about a meeting at the Harvard University Institute of Politics the Romney Campaign Manager, Matt Rhoades, spoke candidly about how he believed the campaign made a mistake when creating such a conservative stance on immigration, stating that he, “‘regret[s] that'”. Such an open statement in such a public forum signals that important figures in the Republican Party realize that changes need to be made before the 2016 Presidential Elections and possibly before the 2014 elections. However, some people are vehemently against changing the party platform to appease this new demographic and others merely believe it is unrealistic.
In his Huffington Post Article, Douglas J. Amy, a Politics Professor, states that because of the Tea Party and Republican financial backers it is not feasible for the Republican message to change without losing critical support. Others, such as Bill O’Reilly, have less scholarly arguments. Instead of discussing how to appeal to new voting patterns O’Reilly continually states that President Obama won merely because of the loss of “Traditional America”, equating traditional America with whiteness. This is mainly a problem because, as Jon Stewart surmises in the video below, America has always seen changing demographics and the country’s history is steeped in immigration. O’Reilly’s argument clearly shows that he thinks immigration is now a threat because immigrants are no longer primarily white.
While some Republicans will always be staunchly opposed to changing the party platform the reality is that they will need to. As even Newt Gingrich sees in an article titled, “GOP Resists Calls to Retool Message”, “‘We are not a party that needs a face-lift. We’re a party that needs a fundamental rethinking of what we are and how we do our business'”. As the article continues it illustrates Gingrich’s above point by saying, “Mr. Romney lost by large majorities among nearly all the fastest-growing segments of voters, including those under 30, Asians, Latinos and single women”. This quote clearly demonstrates that it is time for the Republicans to begin thinking about appealing to the new demographic. This does not need to necessarily be a dramatic shift, but whatever it is needs to be properly marketed as well.