Time and demographics are not on their side.
As Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn't happen in 2005, and '06, and '07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They're stuck.
The Bush/Cheney war has made sure that college-age youth, aka "The Millennials" have been pushed to the Democratic party (that, along with the Internet and its values of freedom of expression and color-blind online communities).
And note that when I refer to the Republican Party, I do not mean conservatism.
As Noonan wrote:
"This was a real wakeup call for us," someone named Robert M. Duncan, who is chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the New York Times. This was after Mississippi. "We can't let the Democrats take our issues." And those issues would be? "We can't let them pretend to be conservatives," he continued. Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day.
Racial demogaphics are such that the Republican strategy of demonizing Latinos in the illegal immigration debate means that the majority of this electorate leans Democratic as well. And we all know that the browning of America is what the future holds.
The sad part for the Republicans, is that a lot of these black/brown voters would self-identify as socially conservative. A sizable number of black voters are churchgoing Christians, many Latinos are pro-life. However, the race based tactics of the Southern strategy and the nasty anti-immigrant tone have pushed these voters over to the Democratic side. (Really, the Republicans have majorly blown it with the Latino vote by choosing to pander to anti-immigrant fears. They might have been able to make greater inroads had it not been for that.)
The Republican Party has played the card of being the party of the white majority for a long time now. That hand depends on an disinterested, apathetic electorate with low black voter turnout in the South, along with a youth vote that doesn't show up to the polls.
However, that is not the case in this election. Black voters are excited and enthused. And a Southern strategy based on race-baiting and attacking either Barack Obama or his wife, Michelle, will only serve to piss black people off and make them even more determined to get to kick out the racists.
And we've all seen the bright, shining, hopeful faces of those young college-aged voters. These are voters who will have the time and energy to canvass, who will have the passion to sway their undecided family members. They will be educated and articulate about the issues, and will be an attractive face for the Democratic Party.
The main reason the Republicans are doomed, however, is because they have neglected to reach across the aisle into other ethnic groups. They've been playing their white race card so long, they don't have a credible Latino, African-American or Asian (or even a woman candidate!) and until they can grow a few (it has to be more than one) in their ranks, they will be at a disadvantage for many years to come.
Basically, the Republicans are screwed...and they know it.