Unlike Cody Permenter of USA Today College, I’d hardly call Obama’s 51% win a “resounding defeat” for the Republican Party. He is right on one point however, College Republicans are the key to the future of the GOP.
Can young Republicans win over minority voters?
After a resounding defeat in the 2012 presidential election and shifting national demographics, Republicans are playing catch-up on outreach to minority voters. This is a move that many younger Republicans hope will keep the Grand Old Party from becoming a Grand Old Memory.
“I think the Republican Party has to change the tone,” said Gus Portela, regional Midwestern vice-chairman of the College Republican National Committee.
Portela, who was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, sees many challenges facing the GOP as demographic projections show a shift to a more racially and ethnically diverse nation.
According to U.S. Census Bureau projections, the populations of all ethnic and racial groups will increase significantly between now and 2060 except for non-Hispanic whites.
The most substantial increase is projected in the Hispanic population, which is expected to double from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. If this prediction were to hold true, nearly one in every three U.S. residents would be Hispanic, compared to one in six currently.
Portela says that instead of using harsh rhetoric about social issues, the main focus on the party should be on reinforcing the message that the GOP is a party of “economic freedom” and job creation — a message he says will resonate with minorities and young people alike.
“Speaking only about social issues won’t help the economy,” Portela said.
Portela points to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s recent immigration reform proposals, which he thinks shows the GOP moving in the right direction on reaching out to the Hispanic community.