"The tectonic plates of American politics are shifting," writes Ruy Teixeira, a political demographer and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, in a paper prepared for a March 2010 "Future of the Parties" conference. "A powerful concatenation of demographic forces is transforming the American electorate and reshaping both major political parties."
Despite being a self-professed numbers guy, Romney has not raced to court the minority vote. As the Obama campaign comes out with "Women for Obama," "¡Obama!" and, yes, "Hipsters for Obama" buttons, the Republican Party has instead been buttonholed as not just having a "black problem," or a "Hispanic problem," or a "gay problem." The GOP, says Mr. O'Connell, has a minority problem.
Not that the GOP isn't trying to expand its appeal.
Its national convention in Tampa, Fla., featured a string of speeches by so-called rising stars, including Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Indian-American Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Cuban-American Senate nominee Ted Cruz, Haitian-American mayor and congressional nominee Mia Love, and Mexican-American New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.