Mike Murphy is a savvy Republican political consultant.
He has advised such nationally prominent Republicans as John McCain, Jeb Bush, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Spencer Abraham, Christie Whitman, Lamar Alexander, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He was, until January 2006, an adviser to Mitt Romney, the Governor of Massachusetts and an about-to-become candidate for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2008 presidential election.
He stepped down as a result of his role as chief strategist to Governor Romney as well as Senator McCain, who were both widely expected to be Republican challengers in the primaries of the 2008 Presidential election. Murphy said he had decided to be neutral in a contest between two close clients, although he would advise each informally.
He's written a piece for Time in which he lays out his reasons for predicting a long, cold winter of discontent coming to the GOP:
Despairing Republican friends have been asking me what I think we should do to rebuild the GOP and begin our certain and inevitable comeback.
My answer disappoints them: "Build an ark."I say this because I've made a career out of counting votes, and the numbers tell a clear story; the demographics of America are changing in a way that is deadly for the Republican Party as it exists today.
A GOP ice age is on the way.
For years, Republicans won elections because the country was chock-full of white middle-class voters who mostly pulled the GOP lever on Election Day.
Today, however, that formula is no longer enough.In 1980, Latino voters cast about 2% of all votes. Last year it was 9%, and Obama won that Hispanic vote with a crushing 35-point margin.
By 2030, the Latino share of the vote is likely to double. In Texas, the crucial buckle for the GOP's Electoral College belt, the No. 1 name for new male babies--many of whom will vote one day--is Jose.
Young voters are another huge GOP problem. Obama won voters under 30 by a record 33 points. And the young voters of today, while certainly capable of changing their minds, do become all voters tomorrow.Rather than face up to all this, too many in the GOP are stuck in a swoon of nostalgia. Most of our party leaders come from bloodred GOP states or safe districts, so they are far more at home in the tribal politics of Republican primaries than in those of the country as a whole. You could say their radio dials are stuck on AM.
The result is we hear a lot about going back to "the winning ways of Ronald Reagan." Well, I love Reagan too. But demographics no longer do.
In 1980, Reagan beat Jimmy Carter by 10 points. If that contest were held again today, under the current demographics of the electorate per exit polls, the election would be much closer, with Reagan probably winning by about 3 points.