Brit Hume recently downplayed the importance of the Hispanic vote:

Weigel explains why continuing to focus on white voters is attractive to many Republican politicians:

As they contemplate 2014 and 2016, Republicans are looking at elections where the white share of the vote may increase compared with 2012. They compare elections when Barack Obama was on the ballot against elections when he wasn’t. The white shares of the vote in 2008, 2010, and 2012 were, respectively, 74 percent, 77 percent, and 72 percent.

But Waldman thinks that winning a larger share of the white vote requires attempting to win minority votes:

[I]f you decide that you’re going to focus your efforts on turning out the white vote, you won’t only be sending a message to Latinos (and African Americans, and the fast-growing Asian American population) that you’re not interested in them, you’ll also be sending a message to moderate whites that your party might not be the kind of place they’d feel comfortable. This goes double for young white voters, who have grown up in a much more diverse culture than their parents and grandparents, and aren’t going to be so hot on joining the Party of White People.

Relatedly, Drum argues that the GOP should stop worrying about who gets “credit” for immigration reform:

Democrats get tremendous mileage by demonizing Republicans and winning ever greater shares of the Hispanic vote. Once immigration reform passes, they can’t do that. There will always be smaller issues out there, but they just won’t have the same impact as immigration reform. Taking that off the table sucks the air out of the Dem balloon and gives Republicans a better chance of setting the terms of the political debate, both within and without the Hispanic community. That’s why it’s a net winner for them, not because they’ll get “credit” for allowing it to pass.

The question is whether their ideology allows them to tolerate anything that might also get support from Democrats and Independents, let alone president Obama. These next couple of months will tell us a lot about whether we are watching a nose dive they can pull out of in time. So far, sadly, the omens are not good.