The evidence is everywhere and starkly undeniable after the 2012 presidential race: old, white, straight, male voters just aren’t enough to win elections anymore. Mitt Romney got the highest ever percentage of these voters, and the lowest ever percentage of the minority vote. He lost. The demographic trends show that the minority vote in the United States will continue to grow in numbers and influence. Unless you are under the influence of hallucinogens, it is hard to imagine future scenarios were the Republican Party can win national elections if we do not succeed in attracting more than just the “usual suspects” to the Republican tent. We will examine these demographic trends, who the GOP needs to reach out to, and how they need to go about it. *** Sen. John McCain, Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Lindsey Graham are tentatively scheduled to appear in person or via Skype during a study group. Dates yet to be finalized.
Week 1, Sept. 26th: Introduction to Study Group by IOP Fellow, Ana Navarro. What is a pro-immigration reform, pro-gay rights, (fairly) young, Hispanic woman doing in the Republican Party? Ana Navarro was the Natl Hispanic Co-Chair for John McCain 2008 and Huntsman 2012. She is a Republican strategist, with particular expertise on Hispanic issues. She is a political contributor for CNN and Meet the Press.
Week 2, Oct. 3rd: Hispanics….where has the GOP gone wrong? Ana Navarro, will talk about her campaign experiences and the mistakes made in policy, campaign tactics, resource allotment, message and messenger. Guests include: Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen via Skype.
Week 3, Oct. 10th: Is there a difference between how Democrats and Republicans treat “minority media”? Do African-American and Hispanic media outlets get the same access as general media? Show me the money. Is the amount in paid media funds spent in minority media outlets representative of the numbers these groups represent?
Guests include (via skype): Jorge Ramos, national co-anchor of Univision News and Anderson Cooper.
Week 4, Oct. 17th: Lessons learned from Florida and from 2012. Sally Bradshaw (tentative) will lead this study group. Sally Bradshaw is a political strategist in Florida. She was the campaign manager and Chief of Staff for Gov. Jeb Bush. She has worked for numerous statewide and presidential campaigns in Florida, including the George w. Bush 2000 and 2004 and Romney 2008 Campaigns. She is also a co-author of the Autopsy Report commissioned by the RNC in 2013 to analyze where Republicans went wrong in 2012 campaigns and what changes must be made. Mike Murphy who is a Republican political consultant will also be joining the study group.
Week 5, Oct. 24th: Demographics and why appealing to a broader base is NOT an option for Republicans. The group will be lead by Ron Brownstein, Executive Editor and 2 time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Ron is a leading expert on politics and demographics. Who showed up to vote for whom and what do demographic trends look like. I don't know anybody better at political demographics than this guy. Don't miss it!
Week 6, Oct. 31st: Seriously, what the hell are Republicans going to do about the women gap, youth gap, and gay gap? And no, that last one is not a new type of GAP Store, catering to gays. Half the party doesn’t want to admit we are in a hole and the half that does acknowledge we’re in a hole, doesn't know what to do about it. Guest: Democrat strategist and LGBT advocate, Hilary Rosen.
Week 7, Nov. 7th: Can the Conservative and Tea party movements adapt to attract more minorities? Is a Conservative in 2013 the same as a Reagan Conservative? How about the Tea Party….is the party over or are we seeing a long-term movement? How do you say “Tea Party” en Español?
Guests: Al Cardenas
Week 8, Nov. 14th: Immigration. No topic has been a bigger political wedge-issue when it comes to Hispanics. Until 2013, Democrats had made big promises on reform and legalization and not delivered. Republicans had made harsh threats on enforcement, and fizzled out. Mitt Romney went way to the right on immigration in the Republican primaries; did he self-deport from the White House? We are in the midst of immigration reform legislation moving through Congress. By the time this Study Group happens, we may know whether it’s succeeded or failed. What does the success or failure of this legislation mean for Republicans and for Hispanics going forward?
Guests: Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida (via Skype)
Week 9, Nov. 21st: A Conversation about Race, Ethnic Heritage, Politics and Life
Join Ana Navarro for her final study group. She will be joined by Janet Murguia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of La Raza, and Isiah Thomas, Former NBA Basketball Player and Hall of Famer.