Chris Cillizza: GOP Needs to Win More Young Minority Voters

Image: Chris Cillizza: GOP Needs to Win More Young Minority Voters

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 01:06 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The Republican Party's demographics problem is "almost certain to get worse unless something big changes," Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza writes.

Based on 2012 Census data assessed by the Carsey Institute, a University of New Hampshire nonpartisan public think tank, young minority populations, those who are under age 20, grew, while the young white population remained stagnant.

"In 1990, 32 percent of the population younger than age 20 was minority, increasing to 39 percent in 2000," the think tank wrote in a study released Tuesday. "By July of 2012, 47 percent of the 82.5 million people under age 20 in America were from minority populations."

The reason this is a problem for Republicans, Cillizza writes, is because white voters make up the lion's share of the GOP vote.

When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was running in 2012, 88 percent of those who voted for the Massachusetts Republican were white.

Cillizza cites Pete Wehner, a former Bush administration official who wrote in Commentary magazine that "it's an undeniable truth that the GOP coalition is shrinking, and it's shrinking in the aftermath of two fairly decisive defeats, with the latter coming against a president whose policies were judged by many Americans to have been failures."

Wehner concludes that the GOP not only needs a candidate that "can fire up the base" but also someone "who can win over voters who are not now voting for the GOP at the presidential level."

Romney won 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, which makes up 10 percent of the electorate right now. If that grows to 20 percent of the electorate by 2024, and Republican candidates aren't able to win a larger share of the Hispanic vote, it will make it "impossible — or damn close to impossible — for that GOP nominee to win a national majority,"  Cillizza wrote.

The other area that should be a concern for Republicans, Cillizza wrote, is where those populations are growing — in the South and Southwest. This puts Republican strongholds such as Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and South Carolina "in real jeopardy" of slipping to the Democrats.

These numbers make it imperative for Republicans to "find a way to improve their numbers among Hispanics," he wrote.

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