History is trying to write the story of the 2012 election as simply, “demographics make Democrats’ destiny.” For Republicans however, decisions and not demographics will control our unfolding destiny. If there is one thing the GOP can take from 2012, it should be “we lost, but for no reasons that are unsolvable.”
Many macro-political trends, including often discussed and little understood demographic shifts, are remaking in the American Electorate. The future success of the Republican Party will depend more heavily how they anticipate and react to these patterns, then the actual trends themselves.
Looking at to 2014 and 2016, there are some simple historical lessons that may help set certain expectations. For instance, the sixth-year mid-term election generally moves away from the party in the White House and after a two-term president, the incumbency advantage will be lost in 2016. Furthermore, qualitative analysis could suggest a “strong bench” for Republicans going into the next few years. While, these are all helpful inputs for Republicans, they do little to help rewrite the GOP playbook over the next few years. The party is down. It knows it needs to change, but does not have the right prescription yet.
Adrian Gray is an Asset Manager in New York. He is the former Director of Strategy at the Republican National Committee and a veteran of two winning presidential campaigns, the White House and the Pickens Plan. He holds an MBA in Quantitative Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.