The delegates at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte reflected the nation’s current and evolving demographics, with a generous mix of Americans of all ethnicities. In contrast, despite what one can surmise was a considerable effort by party operatives to diversify the delegations—considerable given the level of support by African Americans for the the Romney-Ryan ticket pegged in a mid-August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was a gob-smacking 0 percent—the GOP gathering in Tampa seemed, and was, overwhelmingly white.
Following the GOP electoral shellacking in 2008, pundits commented that the future of the party was doomed as the U.S. population and electorate continue to become far more diverse and younger than the party’s core and faithful constituency. The 2010 midterm elections and the rise and triumph of the Tea Party suggest that the post-mortem was conducted prematurely, but it’s hard to imagine a future in which the Republicans don’t make a concerted effort to put forward more candidates of color—irrespective of the makeup of their current voters. In the event of a defeat on Nov. 6, it’s easy to imagine the likes of Condoleezza Rice or Marco Rubio on a 2016 presidential ticket. Rice served as Secretary of State during the Bush 43 administration. Rubio is Florida’s junior U.S Senator. Both delivered fiery speeches in prime time at the Republican National Convention.