In the same fashion, it's been estimated the white vote in pivotal Ohio declined around 200,000 between 2008 and 2012 — more than President Barack Obama's winning margin in the state. Any serious plan to foster future conservative victories must include re-engaging those right-leaning voters.
Some conservatives worry the youth vote is skewing Democratic. This was also true in 1972 when Democrat George McGovern ran well among young voters while losing in a landslide. By the 1980s, those previously young voters were often supporting Republicans. Those obsessed with the “too old, too white” critique should also recall that the GOP once nominated a white man in his late 60s as president — and then saw him broaden the party's appeal during two terms in office.
Ronald Reagan proved that the messenger matters — and so does the message. As they reassess political strategies, conservatives should keep that political lesson in mind above all others.