Throughout the 2012 elections, the Republican Party was becoming more and more extreme. With people like Donald Trump questioning the validity of Obama's birth certificate and Rick Santorum threatening women's right to birth control, most of the American public was disgusted. While Romney himself wasn't a very conservative Governor, he pandered to the right as a way to gain favor from a white male majority that just didn't have the votes to get him elected.
Romney won the white vote by 20 percent, but lost women by 11. Obama won 93 percent of the Black vote, 74 percent Asian, 71 percent Latino, and 60 percent of young voters. And what did Mr. Romney learn from his loss in the 2012 elections? That Obama won because he gave "gifts" to minorities.
And it's exactly his kind of attitude the will continue to hurt, and ultimately kill the GOP. Voters want to tax the rich, have access to birth control and abortions. They like Medicare and social security, and even support gay marriage. The values of an out-of-touch, stale, and offensive party are no longer attractive to voters, even if Republicans change their tone on immigration reform in an effort to make nice with Latinos.
Immigration Reform Not a Top Priority for Latino Voters
Believe it or not, Latinos care about more than immigration reform. Even after Ronald Reagan put forward a massive amnesty bill, Latinos still favored the Democratic candidate by 24 percent. In 2012, only 6 percent of Latinos said that immigration reform was their first concern as voters (with the economy coming in as number one), and 69 percent of Latinos said that the GOP's support for immigration reform would either have no effect or make them less likely to vote for Republicans.
Latinos support immigration reform, but they also overwhelmingly support other progressive issues. 70 percent of Latino voters support the right to an abortion, and 59 percent support gay marriage -- which is higher than white voters. On the economy, 77 percent want to tax the rich and 62% support Obama's healthcare plan. It's going to take a lot more than immigration reform to win Latinos over, especially when the Republicans are giving serious pushback against GLBT partnership benefits under the reform proposals, and many oppose pathways to full legalization.
What About Black, GLBT, and Women Voters?
The GOP has at least been making an effort with Latino voters in 2013, but with Black voters, their strategy seems to be to restrict the right to vote instead of democratically winning future elections. In 59 mostly Black, urban precincts in Philadelphia, Romney failed to get even a single vote. This ought to raise some red flags for the GOP, but they don't seem to care. A few weeks after the elections, John McCain and Lindsay Graham, two of the top Republican Senators advocating for immigration reform, launched an all-out attack on African American U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for her handling of Benghazi. They called her incompetent and unqualified, leading many to believe that her race -- not her job performance -- was the root behind the GOP's outrage over her appointment. Another nail in the GOP coffin.
GLBT voters have also yet to see a nod of acknowledgement from the Republicans, despite 76 percent of gays voting for Obama, not to mention straight voters who voted for Democrats because of their support for gay marriage. With Republicans set to deliver another blow to the gay community by fighting to exclude GLBT partner benefits in the immigration reform battle, it looks like the gay vote will continue to go to the Dems in 2014.
Women's vote favored Obama by 11 percent, in no small measure because of the GOP's attack on birth control and abortion rights. As the House prepares to vote on the Violence Against Women Act, protecting women who are victims of domestic violence, many Republicans are trying to block the bill's passage. With their first vote of the New Year continuing the 2012 campaign cycle's war on women, it won't be a surprise to see the GOP keep decreasing in popularity among women voters.
Progressive Agenda Important to Key Voters
The economy was the most important issue in 2012, and it will continue to be important in 2013, 2014, and ultimately in the 2016 elections. But an economy that key voters will support is one that supports access to health care, a fair tax structure, social security, Medicare and Medicaid. All eyes will be on Obama to see if he can deliver on these progressive issues, and how hard he works to ensure that the GLBT and immigrant communities are included in the reforms that he pushes through.
The GOP is slowly decreasing in popularity and losing its relevance as a major party in the United States. Their pandering to Latinos is too little too late, and they're still playing politics with women, gays, and African American voters. The most we can do is hope that they keep playing politics as usual, because if they do, they will be dead within a decade.