Nate Cohn, in a piece for The New Republic, challenges Sean Trende's claim that the GOP can change its recent electoral fortunes by maxing out its support among whites. Much of Trende's thesis rests on the fact that recent GOP presidential candidates have been increasing their party's share of the white vote. In 2012, Romney carried around 61%. Trende argues that white support for the GOP can continue and expand.
Cohn contends that Romney's high rate of support by the 2012 white demographic is misleading due to the fact that Romney racked up huge margins among Southern and Appalachian whites. In swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, Romney's support among whites was more modest. In fact, according to Cohn, in many parts of the U.S., Obama received white support in 2012 that exceeded Al Gore's in 2000. Cohn provides a national map showing where Obama outperformed Gore.
That Hispanics alone cannot rescue the GOP on a national level, Cohn readily agrees with Trende. But Cohn maintains that in states like Florida, Nevada, and Colorado, the Republicans must improve their appeal with Hispanics, due to the higher prevalence of Hispanic voters.
In Cohn's view, a GOP embrace of immigration reform, while it probably would not bring in a bountiful harvest of new Hispanic voters, would likely go a long way to "re-branding" the GOP along lines more in line with the realities of an American electorate that is less in tune with conservative stances of social issues.
In short, Cohn argues that the GOP must make inroads among a variety of voters, and not single demographic group provides the sole solution.
Cohn's article is linked below.
Nate Cohn: More White Voters Will Not be Enough to Sustain the GOP
"Demographic changes are turning the Bush coalition—which combined white conservatives with a few targeted inroads among sympathetic groups—into a coffin."
----Nate Cohn, The New Republic