The Republicans defeated themselves.
They did that by allowing themselves to become a closed system in which they would not communicate with anyone outside the system and would not accept information that was not generated within that system. Half the country is made up of people who refuse to watch anything but Fox News, who listen to no opinion but that of people like Limbaugh and the like and who are enchanted by political pitchmen like Lance Priebus, Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove. Rove is a man so deluded by his own fantasies that Megan Kelly had to physically go to the Fox News analytic cell during election coverage to correct the on the air effect of Roves' delusions.
What were these massive shared delusions and what errors do they engender?
1- As I have written, the GOP badly over-estimated white turnout for the election. The party apparatus did not grasp the fact that disdain for BOTH candidates would auto-suppress the vote in their core white constituency. The GOP did that to themselves by nominating a candidate who in the end was still a "Mormon plutocrat married to a known equestrienne." There IS real demographic change in the US but the effect of that would have been less in this election if the Republicans had not shot themselves in their various feet by ignoring the actual situation in the electorate.
2- The GOP has to learn to make reasonable concessions to the people who voted Democratic in this election. John Wilkes Booth asked in his journal "Who's country is this?" The little book was found on his body after he was killed by federal troops. The adherents of the hard, hard anti-Latino positions of today's Republican Party need to consider the futility of Booth's question. They need to grasp the idea that the sons and daughters of today's Latino immigrants can be made into conservative Americans if a sincere effort is made to do so. As I have written the central values of the great majority of Latinos are compatible with a rational conservatism. Prosperity and a welcoming attitude will make the transfer of allegiance from the Democrats a reality. That is not to say that the border should not be secured, but, in fact, that process is moving steadily forward.
3- The GOP needs to start nominating electable candidates. In the old days party bosses picked candidates on the basis of their electability. Perhaps nomination through the primary election process is not such a good idea. pl