Thursday's New York Times Front Page: GOP 'Tough Tone' Puts Them in Trouble With Minorities and Women

The front page of Thursday's New York Times found a bleak outlook for Republicans, both with the changing nature of the electorate and among women.

Political reporter Michael Shear found the GOP doomed by the nation's changing demographcis in "As Electorate Changes, Fresh Worry for G.O.P."

[Obama] did it not only by winning Hispanic voters, but also by winning strong majorities of the growing number of Asian-American voters and of voters under age 40. A version of his coalition in Virginia -- a combination of minorities, women and younger adults -- also helped Mr. Obama win Colorado, Nevada and perhaps Florida, which remained too close to call. He came close in North Carolina, a reliable state for Republican presidential nominees only a few years ago that he narrowly won in 2008.

The demographic changes in the American electorate have come with striking speed and have left many Republicans, who have not won as many electoral votes as Mr. Obama did on Tuesday in 24 years, concerned about their future. The Republicans’ Southern strategy, of appealing mostly to white voters, appears to have run into a demographic wall.

After Romney's loss, it was predictable that the Times would focus on the GOP's so-called gender gap (only a problem with women, never men). And reporter Jennifer Steinhauer came through with a front-page story, "Senate Races Expose Extent Of Republicans’ Gender Gap."

Republicans, hoping to gain seats in the Senate, knew that their limited appeal among minorities would be a problem, as would party infighting. But they did not expect to be derailed by the definition of rape.

The scene at Elizabeth Warren’s victory party in Boston. Her opponent, Senator Scott P. Brown, was hurt by the debate over women, Senator Susan Collins said.


Some Republicans conceded that they had worked to marginalize Representative Todd Akin after he suggested during his failed bid for a Senate seat in Missouri that a woman’s body was able to prevent a pregnancy resulting from “legitimate rape.” They did so because they were worried that their party was increasingly seen among voters as preoccupied with issues like the one sponsored by Republicans in Virginia that would have required women to undergo vaginal sonograms before they could have an abortion.

“We have a significant problem with female voters,” said John Weaver, a senior Republican strategist. Mr. Akin’s comments, Mr. Weaver said, “did not seem like outliers.” Nor, he added, were those made by Richard E. Mourdock, whose Senate campaign in Indiana was derailed in spectacular fashion after he said in a debate that it was “God’s will” when a pregnancy resulted from rape.

“They did not seem foreign to our party,” Mr. Weaver said. “They seemed representative of our party.”

The comments had resonance, some Republicans said, in part because Democrats, seizing on the remarks and repeating them, worked hard to tar the entire party as being insensitive to women.

Congressional Republicans’ heavy focus on social issues affecting women -- like their proposals to reduce financing for Planned Parenthood and their challenge of an Obama administration ruling requiring insurance coverage for contraception -- set the groundwork for those perceptions.


Women were not just turned off by perceived threats to their reproductive rights, Mr. Weaver said, but also by the tough tone that the party has taken toward immigrants and the poor.