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Consultant Mike Murphy: GOP Facing Ice Age

By Jim Meyers   |   Monday, 15 Jun 2009 10:41 AM

The Republican Party faces a coming "ice age" due to changing demographics in America, according to GOP political consultant Mike Murphy.

"Despairing Republican friends have been asking me what I think we should do to rebuild the GOP and begin our certain and inevitable comeback," Murphy, whose clients have included Jeb Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney, writes in Time magazine.

"My answer disappoints them: 'Build an ark.'

"The demographics are changing in a way that is deadly for the Republican Party as it exists today. A GOP ice age is on the way."

Republicans for years have won elections by appealing to white middle-class voters, but that formula "is no longer enough," Murphy opines.

In 1980, Latino voters cast about 2 percent of all votes, but in 2008 they cast 9 percent, and Barack Obama received 67 percent of those votes. John McCain got only 31 percent, down from the 44 percent that George W. Bush received in 2004.

Obama also won decisively among voters under age 30, beating McCain by 33 percentage points.

A Republican renewal could still be possible, according to Murphy, because "conservatism is traditionally energized by a reaction to liberal excess, and the unabashedly leftish tilt of the Obama administration's domestic agenda does give hope. But demography is a powerful force."

Republicans need to become more socially libertarian on issues such as gay rights to appeal to young voters, and to support practical immigration reform to win more of the Latino vote, Murphy suggests, adding:

"Saving the GOP is not about diluting conservatism but about modernizing it to reflect the country it inhabits instead of an America that no longer exists."

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