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Should Republicans Emphasize the Abortion Issue?

3:45 PM, May 22, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Republicans of all stripes ought to understand that the extent to which a candidate should highlight the abortion issue depends on the constituency to which he or she is trying to appeal. Here Frum makes a reasonable point. If it is true that the only room for Republicans to grow is among white voters, then it probably makes more sense to downplay opposition to abortion than to play it up. A lot of people think that increasing the Republican share of the black and Hispanic vote is unlikely--but making serious inroads among affluent white social liberals seems at least as unlikely. Given current demographic trends, it seems doubtful that Republicans can assemble a long-term majority among whites.

Frum also stacks the deck by wildly overgeneralizing that minority voters "don't vote on life." None of them? By nature? Surely some of the Hispanic votes the GOP keeps getting are based on life. More to the point, the question is whether the party can make important marginal gains among blacks and Hispanics, not whether the party can get "blacks" or "Hispanics" to vote for them en masse.