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Can GOP survive its 'minority problem'?

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These changes have left "the GOP … on the wrong side of history, demographically speaking," adds Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University in Washington.

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.

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