Since the election of President George H. W. Bush, Republican presidential candidates have had difficulty winning popular elections. Republican candidates lost five of the next six popular elections to their Democratic opponents. This paper investigates why. It outlines the growing demographic shift in electoral politics which is detrimental for future Republican success. The growing dissonance between non-white, non-male voters and the Republican Party hinders the Party’s success when its message does not resonate with a majority of voters.
Utilizing realignment theory as first espoused by political scientist V. O. Key, this paper analyzes nine essential battleground states and the growing demographic shifts within them to show that Republican policies, as enumerated in The Growth and Opportunity Project, do not resonate to a larger audience. Using a 15% increase in Republican votes from the 2012 election as a baseline, this paper provides suggestions for Republican strategists to allocate funds to certain get-out-the-vote campaigns in certain states.
The results of this study confirm the hypothesis set forth. Latino voters are an essential demographic which can help win Florida with a “compassionate conservative” Republican candidate. African-American voters are much more difficult to court for the Republican Party; however, a sound strategy in two adjacent states with low socio-economic upward mobility – North Carolina and Virginia – can motivate African-Americans to the polls to help win those states. Independent voters can help win small swing states with relatively little ethnic diversity. Finally, single female voters will be crucial in states in which conservative governors have had success such as Ohio and North Carolina.
Del Signore, Anthony J., "Republican Realignment: Building a Majority Coalition for Future Electoral Success" (2014). Honors College Theses. 147.