Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Southern strategy redux

Mike Murphy, generally one of the more sensible GOP strategists, was recently discussing Republican chances of taking back the White House in future elections. 
The GOP's greatest challenge is the fact that Democrats begin each presidential election with a near lock on the Electoral College. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have given their electoral votes to the Democratic presidential nominee in at least five out of the last six elections. These states represent 257 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win the presidency. Under current trends, the GOP nominee has to pull the equivalent of drawing an inside straight in poker to get to the White House.

His answer to the problem is that the Republican Party needs to put more blues states in play, particularly where there are a lot of white people.

He writes: 
The GOP should make it a priority to win states like Michigan, where Republicans have institutional advantages over Democrats driven by their foothold in the governorships. The nation's shifting demographics are another reason Michigan should receive more attention from the national GOP.

In the last two presidential elections, President Barack Obama carried minority voters by 60 points. As Latinos become a larger part of the electorate in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, the pressure for the GOP to expand the playing field in the Midwest becomes greater. So while the GOP must be committed to winning the support of minority voters, the party needs to increase its share of white votes in states like Michigan and Wisconsin.

I'm not sure what Mr. Murphy is talking about. Sure, he's saying the right things about winning minority support, but how exactly do you increase your share of white votes, as white votes, if not by encouraging them to feel different, more American, more deserving, than minority groups. And if that is not a new Southern strategy, what is it? 

We saw this in 2012. Are we going to see it again?

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