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Republican Road to 270 Electoral Votes Uphill Without Immigration Reform

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Analyses from Washington Post’s Dan Balz & AP Highlight GOP Need to Take Action to Regain Competitiveness with Latino Voters

This week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) will hold its winter meeting in Washington to assess the GOP’s current standing and to chart its path forward.  Those attending should be sure to read new analysis from Dan Balz of the Washington Post and to reflect on the disconnect between the recommendations in the RNC’s post-2012 election autopsy report and the current state of the Party.

In an assessment titled, “The Republican Party’s Uphill Path to 270 Electoral Votes in 2016,” Balz argues that demographic trends and shifting political winds in many states have already placed the Republican Party at a decided disadvantage in the 2016 presidential race.  Balz concludes by stating, “a Republican candidate who is significantly more successful at winning Hispanic votes than the party’s past two nominees could quickly change the calculus of some of these contested states…But Republicans have considerable ground to recapture to win the presidency, and underlying trends have not been helping them.”

The Associated Press piles on with its own assessment ahead of the RNC meeting, noting that “while the party is counting on the political geography and expected lower turnout of the 2014 midterm elections” to strengthen their performance in this year’s midterms, that scenario would be, in the words of former George W. Bush administration official Ari Fleisher,  a “false narcotic” for the GOP.  As the AP writes, the Republican Party faces “larger problems” that will “take years to fix” and that hiring staff and operatives devoted to Hispanic outreach “can end the GOP’s White House losing streak only if its messengers fulfill the [RNC post-2012 election autopsy] report’s larger goal: ‘Change course, modernize the party and learn once again how to appeal to more people.’”  As the AP piece notes, the RNC’s post-2012 election autopsy “report’s only policy recommendation — an explicit call for comprehensive immigration reform — has been stalled by infighting in the GOP-controlled House.  While Speaker John Boehner has promised to begin drafting key principles for such legislation, conservatives have vowed to block it.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

The choice facing the Republican Party is crystal clear: if they want to compete for the White House in 2016 and beyond, they must step up and help enact immigration reform.  If they block reform this year they will reinforce the GOP’s anti-Latino, anti-immigrant reputation and suffer the consequences for the foreseeable future.