Nate Cohn

Staff Writer

Understandably, Republicans are anxious to show that they can do better among Hispanic voters without immigration reform. The problem is that there aren't many recent examples of Republicans doing well among Hispanics. The solution, apparently, is to just make up examples where they don't exist. 

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A Republican Senate in 2014 looked like a longshot after the GOP blew huge opportunities in North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana. But the GOP caught a huge break this morning, and a GOP Senate is looking like a realistic if still unlikely possibility—even without an anti-Democratic wave.

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So much for the emerging democratic majority: Megan McArdle says that the GOP has a 70 percent chance of holding the House, Senate, and Presidency after the 2016 election. McArdle is basically right about the House—that’s GOP turf—but the rest is way off. Let’s take the Presidency, the Senate, and the math step by step.The Presidency

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Opponents of immigration reform are right about one thing: Hispanics aren’t enough for Republicans to win back the White House. But that doesn’t mean that the GOP can sacrifice Hispanics without big consequences for their chances. That’s already happened in New Mexico and Nevada, where the Hispanic vote has flipped two states from red to blue. The GOP’s route to the presidency has survived the loss of those two small states—they’re worth just 11 electoral votes.

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The trendlines are bad for Republicans. They're falling behind in the battleground states. Demographic and generational change are making matters worse over time. And outside of the South, they're not even making gains among white voters. That latter point does create room for Republicans to do even better among white voters and win without big gains among Hispanics, at least for now.

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After Election Day, the conventional wisdom was that the GOP needed to make gains among Hispanics to win in 2016. Fox News' Brit Hume and Sean Hannity, for instance, quickly assessed the GOP needed to cave on immigration reform. Half a year later, Hume and Hannity have flipped. Hannity doubts that immigration will help Republicans, while Hume says the demographic arguments are “baloney,” since the Hispanic vote is “not nearly as important, still, as the white vote.” Hannity and Hume aren’t alone.

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Today, Rick Perry announced that he wasn’t running for reelection as Texas governor, but didn’t say whether he would pursue the presidency in 2016. The possibility that he might run for president might seem ridiculous, since there’s one big problem with the idea of Rick Perry running for president: Rick Perry. But otherwise, he’d have a decent shot in a Republican primary—a decent enough shot that you can see why he’d take another jab at the nomination.

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Just a couple of months after Ashley Judd decided against a hopeless quest to unseat Republican Mitch McConnell, another woman has stepped forward to challenge the Republican Senate minority leader.

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Obama needs to make a new GOP buddy.

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Winning Numbers

Two pieces of data that explain Obama's second term

Two demographic trends that Obama should exploit.

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