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Jerry E. Clark

Too Much Talk; GOP Must Face Demographic Facts...
By Jerry E. Clark
March 7, 2015 -

Like many of you, I often grow very tired of hearing all the political sniping on the various television networks between GOP and Democratic Party supporters.

While it's often difficult to tell fact from fiction, there certainly is no shortage of scandals and alleged scandals.

Alas, methinks the public will grow tired of such things. The latest bit of political gossip involves Hillary Clinton's private email server, how and when it was used, and why it is that nobody noticed that public business affairs of our former Secretary of State were being conducted on an insecure computer connection.

Mrs. Clinton has a history of all sorts of questionable activities that, no doubt, will be analyzed again and again by various reporters, media organizations and detractors prior to the election of 2016.

But here's the rub: 99% of it just won't matter at all. She knows this and an examination of the REAL American political landscape clearly shows why. All Mrs. Clinton has to do to win the next presidential election (unless she's somehow derailed by a fellow Democrat prior to her nomination) is to steer a course down the middle of the road, appear stately, reconfirm at every stop that she's a woman fighting for all women, and she's a veteran of Washington who always has fought for "the people." That's it. Barring no huge additional scandals, she's our next president...unless.

The "unless" part amounts to a sobering examination of what our American population looks like today and will increasingly be like tomorrow. To say that this will amount to a demographic challenge to any potential Republican candidate is to minimize the GOP's problem.

In an interesting article in the Thursday, March 5, 2015, Wall Street Journal by Whit Ayres (president of a GOP polling firm!), some tough facts were laid out showing the depth of the GOP's problem. Mitt Romney won 59% of the white vote and won "every significant white subgroup" - men and women; young and old; Protestants and Catholics - often by overwhelming margins. Yet Mr. Romney still lost the election by five million votes."

Ayres contends, and the national data supports his view, "that older whites, blue-collar whites, married people and rural residents - are declining as a proportion of the electorate. Groups that lean Democratic - minorities, young people and single women - are growing."

In a perfect world, one would like to think that demographic changes wouldn't supplant logic, facts, and honest statistics (gosh, I hope this isn't an oxymoron). One would think that an attractive candidate with a good message could change minds of any particular group if that group would be open to such words.

That leaves the Republican Party in one heck of a mess - for several reasons. First, the Democrats continue to out-fundraise the GOP. Having money means having more employees to do more things, reach more people, print more campaign flyers, buy more television ads, buy more plane travel, and influence far more people with any message.

Secondly, the GOP still does not have a clear leader, and hasn't had one for years now. The field of GOP candidates for president continues to grow, but the possibility of the vast majority of them becoming president is very, very low. Nobody with anything less than national name recognition has much of a chance. Few have any big money to promote their candidacy. And worse, very few have even the slightest support from the very demographic sects that the statistics clearly show a) don't normally care for the GOP and b) are growing quickly as a percentage of all voters.

Thus, it appears to many people who understand national politics that unless the GOP quickly - and I mean quickly - gets a leader (nominee with overwhelming support of the party), and then that leader directly and continuously engages those growing demographic groups with policies and proposals that will enrich their lives, the ballgame is over. The hundreds of millions of dollars one might wish to spend singing to one's choir would all be wasted without that approach. The numbers are just that tilted in the favor of the Democratic Party.

I'll be watching all the moves of all the candidates in the next couple of months, probably just shaking my head at the lack of urgency or lack of political common sense in most. The airwaves will be full of this stuff.

What we all want is substance and the advocacy of policies that will lift up our nation, help quell international terrorism, barbarism and war, and lead to progress on a huge number of fronts.

I say the election is for Mrs. Clinton to lose. She has a huge advantage over any GOP opponent right now, if for no other reason, pure demographic reality. The only GOP candidate who seems to have even the slightest chance is Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, brother and son of two former Presidents. I'll guarantee you that Las Vegas wouldn't give you 50-50 odds on that choice either.

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