Demographics are changing the profile of the nation’s voters. (Photo/Getty Images )

Opinion: A changing population, but Republicans are not getting the memo

When Mitt Romney lost the election in 2012, much of the hand wringing in the Republican Party focused on the party’s disconnected policies towards minorities and young people. But the GOP’s recent stances on education, abortion, and immigration illustrate how difficult it will be for the party to adjust to the changing demographics of the country into the future.

First, the demographic and political reality the GOP faces is grim.

Over 70% of Latinos voted for President Obama and about 60% of voters under 30 years of age also voted for the president. Asian voters, despite the conventional wisdom that the Republican message might resonate with them because of their higher attainment in education and income, voted in step with Latinos and young voters.

And when broken down by state, the math gets even more difficult for the GOP to find a path to victory in the future. President Obama won the young vote by wide margins in battleground states, such as Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa, and the reliably red state of Arizona saw over 65 percent of their young voters cast votes against the GOP.

While we can reliably expect some of these young folks to change their party allegiance as they get older, the generation gap becomes more complicated for Republicans because these young voters come increasingly from minority communities.

The majority of births in the United States last year came from racial and ethnic minority parents. The last election also saw a deficit in whites of almost 7 million voters compared to 2008, compared to an increase in 2 million Latino voters over the same period.

As baby boomers who are overwhelmingly white get older, we will continue to see a dynamic at work where the U.S. is becoming less white every day. AllGov.com reports that census bureau data revealed that 12,400 more non-Hispanic white people died in the U.S. last year than were born. This was the first time in history that whites have shown a natural decrease instead of a natural increase.

The post-mortem analysis by many argues that the GOP will have to build up their outreach to if they are to be a viable national party under this new reality.

The response by the party has been exceedingly underwhelming. The core grassroots leadership within the party seems to have won the argument that doubling down on the interests of white male voters is the pathway to relevance.

Recent party policies advocated by the GOP on abortion, immigration and education make it clear that their appeal will be directed away from the changing demographics, and instead work at hardening the resolve of their current identity of Christian white males.

Perhaps they may be able to convince enough non-whites to join in that enterprise. Perhaps not. But that’s the calculation the party has made.

Opinion: A changing population, but Republicans are not getting the memo stephen nuno nbc final e1370610376199 politics NBC Latino News

Stephen A. Nuño, Ph.D., NBC Latino contributor and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. He is currently writing a book on Republican outreach into the Latino Community.

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