The Republican Party has no hope of winning the 2016 presidential election if it continues to focus on white voters without securing a larger percentage of Hispanic supporters, according to Karl Rove.
In an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal
, Rove contends that even if the GOP won a Reagan-type landslide among whites that still would not secure a victory, since they represent a significantly smaller share of U.S. voters than they did in 1984.
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"The upshot is that if Republicans hope to win the presidency in 2016, they need to do better with both white and Hispanic voters," he wrote.
A GOP victory, Rove said, would require a higher turnout of white voters, similar to the 2008 election; a 1 percent increase in the party's share of the white vote; and a "somewhat better" performance among Latinos, or roughly 35 percent.
In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney got just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.
"If the GOP leaves nonwhite voters to the Democrats, then its margins in safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle — not overnight, but over years and decades."
Rove says that while GOP support for immigration reform would be a winning issue among Hispanics, Republicans also need compelling messages on the other top issues of the day.
"Rarely does a political party overcome its challenges by improving just one thing. Republicans must do two things: turn out more white voters and improve their performance among Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans," Rove wrote.
"The GOP has done both in every winning presidential campaign," he said. "The party of Lincoln, to win, must continue to do both."
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