GOP should resist becoming ‘Democrat-lite’
American voters have spoken, re-electing President Obama. At 206 electoral votes, Mitt Romney came in 64 votes shy of the 270 needed to win.
Romney could have won 69 more electoral votes – and the presidency – by taking just four more battleground states: Florida (29 votes), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), and Colorado (9). The GOP could have won all these states by flipping less than 60,000 Obama voters to Romney in each.
How can Republicans pick up these voters in the next election cycle?
Whenever a Republican loses an election, the conventional wisdom — courtesy of our friends in the mainstream media — is always that the GOP would be more successful if only it were to become more like the Democrats.
This year, the chorus is that the Republican Party must “join the White House in shaping immigration reform” – and if by that they mean abandoning immigration reform entirely, signing onto Obama’s DREAM Act, or yet another immediate “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, they should think again. This, we’re promised, will flip enough of the Hispanic vote — which went 71 percent to 27 percent for Obama this year – to give the GOP victory.
If Mitt Romney had followed that strategy in this election, in order to win Florida, he would have had to flip 1.76 percent of the Hispanic vote; in Colorado, more than 12 percent; in Virginia, nearly 23 percent; in Ohio, more than 40 percent.
Does anyone really believe that any immigration proposal would have flipped 40 percent of the Hispanic vote anywhere to Romney? Consider that in 1986, Ronald Reagan enacted amnesty for all illegal immigrants who had entered the United States before 1982 – some 2.7 million people. Yet the GOP’s share of the Hispanic vote declined from 37 percent in 1984 to 30 percent in 1988.
If he had managed to reach all Americans in these states – regardless of race — in Colorado, Romney would have needed to flip only 1.63 percent of the total vote; in Virginia, just over one percent; in Ohio, less than one percent; in Florida, less than one-third of one percent.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, November 2008. Table 4b. Reported Voting and Registration of the Voting-Age Population, by Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin, for States: November 2008; HuffPost Politics Election Results 2012.
Which are Republicans more likely to succeed in flipping in any state: less than 2 percent of all Americans, or 40 percent of Hispanics? The question answers itself.
But how can the GOP find common ground among all Americans?
Forget trying to beat the Democrats at their own game. No matter what bribe the GOP promises in return for any group’s vote, the Democrats always outbid them. While the Democrats — a party of no fixed principles — are free to promise anything, Republicans are bound by the principle of equal rights under law. For this principle, Republicans have always risked some votes – and sometimes their lives – but standing fast for this principle, the GOP defeated evils from slavery to segregation.
The GOP wins not when it panders, but when it reaches out to all Americans – regardless of group identity – to defend their freedom, their rights, their equality before the law. This is our common ground as Americans. When Republicans communicate this message, as proudly as Reagan did — in a nation where conservatives outnumber liberals two-to-one – the GOP will once again win landslides.
The surest path to Republican suicide is to abandon our principles, becoming Democrat-lite. When the media – which tilted heavily to Obama – offers such advice to the GOP, it’s wise to ask: Do they really have Republicans’ best interests at heart?
Mark LaRochelle was contributing editor at Consumers’ Research and editor at National Journalism Center. He is a regular contributor to Human Events.