Coming off another election in which it snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, the GOP masterminds have determined that instead of trying to find out why Mitt Romney did a worse job turning out his base than even John McCain did in 2008, they must target a much smaller Hispanic population that on average has voted Republican only 31% of the time since 1980.
I’ve never ran a national campaign, but I have done simple math. And simple math tells me you should focus your efforts on the group that has more potential voters, especially when in the past it’s proven to be much more willing to vote for you. Romney did not lose because he lost independents. Romney did quite well with independents, which explains why Obama was only the third president in American history to get re-elected by getting fewer popular votes and Electoral College votes than he did in his prior campaign. Romney lost because the GOP is hemorrhaging its base (another example: overall turnout in the 2012 GOP presidential primary was actually lower than it was in 2008). The deterioration of Romney’s base meant he was going to need 72% of the Hispanic vote to win last November.
That’s not happening for any GOP presidential candidate in any universe that doesn’t include unicorns anytime soon.
In trying to make sense of the senseless, I wrote a piece for Breitbart a few months back on the changing demographics in Texas, a state the GOP cannot afford to lose if it still wants to win national elections. In that state Hispanics have accounted for a whopping 65% of the population growth there since 2000. Given those numbers, I concluded this was the one rational reason the GOP leadership wants to do this—the fear of losing Texas and thus losing the country.
However, newly elected (and Hispanic) Texas Senator Ted Cruz opposes the Gang 8 scamnesty, as does Texas Governor Rick Perry. In a recent interview on my radio program, Texas Congressman Steve Stockman made the case the gang of 8 scamnesty will not help but kill Republicans in Texas.
Stockman pointed to California, and what’s happened there since the Reagan amnesty back in 1986 as an omen for Texas should this Gang of 8 scamnesty become law. Stockman noted that from Nixon to Reagan, California was to Republicans what Texas is now. Prior to the Reagan amnesty in ’86, Reagan received 58% of the vote in California in the 1984 presidential election. Since then the GOP hasn’t won California since 1988, and five times the GOP presidential nominee didn’t even get 40% of the popular vote there. Currently only 29% of California voters are registered Republicans.
By themselves Texas and California represent more than one-third the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the presidency. Thus, it goes without saying that turning Texas from red to blue puts every issue that every conservative and libertarian holds dear in serious jeopardy for the foreseeable future.
It’s stunning that Marco Rubio thinks his path to the presidency includes making the path of his opponents much easier. It’s stunning the leaders of the Republican Party define success as repeating perhaps the biggest mistake of its most successful president ever, which Rubio himself once said was wrong.
There are only two explanations for this lunacy. One is mass stupidity. The other is far more unsettling.
For too many years now those running the Republican Party have grown government like Democrats, and have found themselves at odds with their conservative base for doing so. Perhaps the GOP establishment is so tired of arguing with its base it’s decided the best way to win that argument is to just go ahead and register more Democrat voters.
Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.