The more the GOP tries "outreach" to various groups, the more it seems to be digging itself into a hole. After the stinging loss in the last election, the Reince Priebus of the RNC commissioned an internal study about what the GOP could do to stop losing national elections. That 5 person committee of GOP insiders presented their study which included recommendations for embracing comprehensive immigration reform and outreach to the LGBT community and other minority groups. Immediately, Priebus distanced himself from the very report he commissioned saying, "This is not my report." There was also strong push back from the Tea Party and other social conservatives on the prospect of being more accepting of the LGBT community and also on a pathway to citizenship for immigration for the undocumented. So here are some major parts of the electorate that voted for Obama in 2012 by large margins and what they might need the GOP to do:
Latinos (71% voted for Obama): Most U.S. citizens of Latin descent know someone who is undocumented. In fact the Huffington Post reports that nearly 2/3 know someone who is undocumented. It is a good bet that Latinos, even those who are citizens and Green Card holders, didn't appreciate the GOP's putting self-deportation in their platform last time around. It is an equally good bet that this community will not consider it comprehensive immigration reform without some kind of pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. So it's not helpful when one of the members of the GOP report committee distances herself from her own report and says, “We don’t say what immigration reform is...We don’t say it must be a path to citizenship.”
LGBT (76% of the vote went for Obama): The growing numbers of prominent of Republicans that support gay marriage still seem not to be enough since most are of past prominence and are not currently in public office except Sen.Rob Portman. Probably it is not enough because of statements like the one coming from John Hovart II. In reacting to the RNC commissioned report, he said, "The idea that a major political party must accept the practice of homosexuality as normal so as to remain relevant will prove the contrary and lead to disaster." Obama (whose Administration weighed in on 2 pending Supreme Court gay rights cases) and the Dems will win big points if the Supreme Court overrules DOMA and overturns Prop 8 in California.
Women: (55% of women voters went for Obama) What can one say about the 2012 election and the likes of Richard Mourdoch (aka pregnancy resulting from rape is something God intended), and Todd Akin (aka the female body can prevent pregnancy from rape and there is "legitimate" rape)? As the GOP itself realized, the problem is that those statements were attribute to the party by the electorate rather than being understood as the outlier views of a few nuts. The GOP first withdrew all financial support from Akin as a sanction for his ridiculous comments, but then later, in a desperate bid to hand on the the Senate, caved and again funded Akin's ultimately losing Senate bid. It certainly did not help the GOP's image with women when 22 GOP senators voted against the Violence Against Women Act in February 2013. The specific details of why these 22 GOP Senators, all men, voted against VAWA will be forgotten and lost among women voters and their supporters.
Young people (60% of 18-29 year olds voted for Obama): Today's wonkblog noted that young people are unlikely to support the GOP and it has nothing to do with the party's views on gay marriage or social issues. It has to do with the GOP's economic stances and their increasingly likelihood to lag in accumulation of wealth compared to their parents. So long as the GOP is viewed as creating policies favoring the rich, young people are not likely to flock to the party. (h/t Zach Cook)
Now that we've looked at large, cross-cutting swaths of the U.S. electorate, exactly which groups are left as the GOP's not-yet-alienated natural constituents? You shouldn't need Nate Silver for this one.