I've said elsewhere that this was probably the last election where the Republicans stood a real chance of gaining the American Presidency with a program that mainly appeals to prosperous suburban whites and holds little appeal to most women and almost no appeal at all to racial minorities. 

If the GOP is to survive, what do you think it would have to look like? What could it possibly look like?

Tags: GOP, Republicans

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"You are talking about voters which don't exist and which may or may not exist in the future."

We've been talking about 'under 30' voters ever since you brought them up. We can be pretty confident today's 'under 30' voters will exist in the future, when they'll be 'over 30' voters.

"It tends to be a good idea to analyze that which is, and not make wild guesses as to the makeup of an imagined electorate."

You know, that's actually quite funny.

I reference; five years of statistics from Pew Research about American religiosity, an article about Billy Graham and divisions within the Christian community, the victory margins of every presidential election since 1940, and a Washington Post article indicating 'under 30' voters outnumbered 'over 65' voters in the 2012 presidential election. I cite and link to my sources of information. I speculate about the future of the GOP based on those past and current trends.

You post numerous assertions about current and future voter demographics but cite no sources of information. Then, based on your own guesses, you discount the research, statistics, and analyses I post, and chide me for making "wild guesses" about "imagined" electorates.

Thank you, Arcus. I think we're about done here (or at least I am). Have a great night!

I didn't bring up those under 30, that would be you. My only contribution was to analyze the voters under 30, as voters is sorta those who counts when it comes to the elections.

I referenced your poll and explained to you that the non-religious only constitute 6% of the population. Your WaPo quote does not exist in the article your link, now that I bothered to check it. It has probably been changed because it was blatantly obvious that it was incorrect.

As to citing sources. There is this wonderful new invention called Google, which you can use to find pictures of cute kittens and check facts. If you had bothered to go there, and type in "under 30 turnout" yesterday, your first link would be this page. The remainder, such as the boomers becoming old, should be common knowledge. I'll add a couple of other facts (you can check them on Google if you don't believe me): As people age they tend to become more conservative and have a higher voter turnout.

I will state again that you have to analyze what you got, not what you believe will happen in the future. In addition we are talking about an established conservative party in the US, which will probably never be an atheist's first choice. 

Voter religiosity is what matters. The 2012 polling data indicates 12% of the electorate is religiously unaffiliated and 17% do not attend worship services. That's an increase of a whopping 33% and 21% respectively since 2000.

Pew explains why this is significant:  

"As in other recent elections, those who attend religious services most often exhibited the strongest support for the Republican presidential candidate. Nearly six-in-ten voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week voted for Romney (59%), while 39% backed Obama. Romney received as much support from weekly churchgoers as other Republican candidates have in recent elections.

Those who say they never attend religious services were again among the strongest Democratic supporters in the presidential election. More than six-in-ten voters who say they never attend religious services voted for Obama (62%). Voters who say they attend religious services a few times a month or a few times a year also supported Obama over Romney by a 55% to 43% margin."

Voters are becoming less religious. The less religious vote Democratic. That did not help Republicans in 2012. If the trend of the last twelve years continues, it will not bode well for them in the future. That's my position.

To dispute this requires showing the data from Pew and the exit polls are false, or showing that declining religiosity is actually neutral or beneficial to Republicans. So far you've shown absolutely nothing of the kind. Unless you do, as I said before, we're done.

Increases from a small percentage to a slightly higher percentage will necessarily yield large increases, but they still account for a negligible sliver of the voter mass, and as you already stated they already affiliate with the democratic party. Which means they are uninteresting for the republicans. If the dems wish to go full on non-religious they will lose a hell of a lot of votes as the vast majority remains religious in the US. Going out against religion is political suicide in the US for the foreseeable future for both parties, unfortunately.

Additionally, the two voting blocs with the highest growth rate are the elderly and hispanics, both of which tend to be religious, the former tend to be inclined towards conservatism, and the latter were almost split a mere 8 years ago. 

The republicans won't base their strategy on stealing votes, but manouver slightly more to the center, increase their appeal among women and hispanics, and just wait for power to wear on the democrats. They are in any event almost guaranteed to win the election in 4 years.

As for your religiously unaffiliated:

"However, a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted jointly with the PBS television program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, finds that many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%). More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%), while more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37%), and one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day."

@Arcus

Obama got 61,112,143 votes. Romney got 58,122,514 votes. That's 119,234,657 votes between them and a victory margin of 2,989,629 votes.

Based on the Pew Research, 17% of the electorate does not attend church regularly. Of that group, 62% voted for Obama. So they cast 20,269,891 votes, of which 12,567,332 went to Obama.

These "negligible slivers" account for more than six times the margin of victory and exceed the total number of Hispanic voters. (See below.) There is no credible basis to continue dismissing them as insignificant. 

Who (besides you) suggested the Democrats should be "going out against religion"? I suggested absolutely nothing of the kind, and considering we have a complete transcript of this conversation, it's pretty outrageous to imply that I did.

My words were that the Republicans are facing "a growing disadvantage to a strong association with religion". The GOP wouldn't have to "turn against" religion to realign itself with this expanding group of voters. It might be enough for the GOP to reduce their association with religion to a level comparable to (but still more than) the Democrats.

You mentioned the importance of the Hispanic vote. For added perspective, Hispanics are 10% of the electorate. Of that group, 71% voted for Obama. So they cast 11,923,465 votes, of which 8,465,660 went to Obama.That's almost triple the margin of victory, but this is a smaller voting group (and also a subset of) the previously mentioned one. It's worth mentioning that among (not necessarily voting) Hispanics, 22% do not attend church regularly. 

"Based on the Pew Research, 17% of the electorate does not attend church regularly. Of that group, 62% voted for Obama. So they cast 20,269,891 votes, of which 12,567,332 went to Obama."

As such, these are quite uninteresting for the GOP to craft a policy towards since they are overwhelmingly democratic. The other 83% is where they have a better chance. In fact, from the data the preferred choice for the republicans is to whip people into churches as the higher the attendance the higher the probability to vote to the right. Which it seems as if they are managing, seeing as religious attendance has increased since the previous election.

"There is no credible basis to continue dismissing them as insignificant."

Except if you are looking at the electorate through the eyes of the GOP, which is sorta the point of this thread, is it not?

"Who (besides you) suggested the Democrats should be "going out against religion"?"

You continue to bring up the religiously unaffiliated and non-church goers. If your point is not to make a case against getting religion out of politics or at least toning it down, then why are you continually bringing it up?

"My words were that the Republicans are facing "a growing disadvantage to a strong association with religion"."

Whether you look at that as the number of religious people having declined from 96 to 94% over the course of a decade, or that the number of religiously affiliated voters has decreased from 91% to 88%, you are looking at an exceedingly long time frame before this will have a major impact. The fact remains that toning down religion may alienate 9/10ths of the electorate, and therefore seems like an exceedingly dumb idea politically, unfortunately for the US and the world.

"For added perspective, Hispanics are 10% of the electorate. Of that group, 71% voted for Obama. So they cast 11,923,465 votes, of which 8,465,660 went to Obama."

This is true, but they are also an electorate which is in play and "Hispanics made up a growing share of voters in three of the key battleground states in yesterday’s election—Florida, Nevada and Colorado." From your own numbers, ~80% of these will probably doesn't have much against the religious profile of the republicans. 

---

Look, I would love nothing more for the political parties in the US to be less associated with religion. However, I don't see this happening in the next elections, and if you are looking 2-3 elections ahead in the future I think the a major shift will be towards a higher focus on foreign policy as China is demanding an equal seat at the table from 2020. A rival superpower will scare a lot of people, and when people are scared they stream into the churches. The last 20 years have been domestic issues elections between social liberals and social conservatives, the next 20 years will probably be more hawks vs doves.

@Arcus

The republicans won't base their strategy on stealing votes, but manouver slightly more to the center, increase their appeal among women and hispanics, and just wait for power to wear on the democrats. They are in any event almost guaranteed to win the election in 4 years.

We boomers are growing old and we are far less conservative than prior generations of the elderly (sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, black liberation, feminism). Also, the elderly, as a group, don't like people talking about messing with Social Security. I think you'll eventually find that your prediction is wrong.

Agreed. I wanted Huntsman for president the moment he said that evolution was real and climate change was happening, but that meant that he was dead in the water during the primaries.

Kyrsten Sinema 2016, bitchez.

hey - lol - kk

She's obviously going to be a fantastic congresswoman after she beats this nutcase in district 9 in AZ..... bitchez D:

Hey - love the signoff. Its even more characteristic than - kk

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