Although the congressional standoff over the Department of Homeland Security is being framed as a debate over national security, it is, at its core, the latest example of the GOP divide over how to tackle immigration reform. For a party that is already facing demographic challenges and shrinking Electoral College opportunities, the inability to come to agreement on immigration could have devastating consequences for 2016. In a presentation this week at the “States of Change Conference” at the American Enterprise Institute, GOP pollster Whit Ayers presented some very sobering data about the demographic realities for the Republican Party. The last time a Republican won the White House their nominee, George W. Bush, carried 58 percent of the white vote and 26 percent of the non-white vote. Since then, Republicans have done just about as well among whites (McCain took 55 percent; Romney took 59 percent), but failed to get close to Bush's showing among non-whites (McCain took 19 percent; Romney won 17 percent). However, given the fast-growing non-white population, the Bush formula is no longer enough to win in 2016.

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