Pick a path

20 Mar

Fork-in-the-road2-sizedThe Republican Party faces some choices before the 2014 mid-term elections.

There’s a fork in the road and which direction it takes could well set its future for years to come.

The decision isn’t an easy one.

Following one path, the GOP can seek to address what has gone wrong, the narrowness of the party’s appeal, and the intolerance that has alienated so many minority, female, young, and moderate voters that Republicans have a hard time prevailing in federal races outside of carefully drawn conservative enclaves.

Taking the other road could lead the party over a cliff in 2016, in much the same way Barry Goldwater led Republicans to disaster in 1964.

Yet, with things the way they are now, the odds favor the Republicans holding the House and getting yet another shot at the Senate.

That’s because of redistricting, the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional seats.

Those boundaries have been drawn so carefully that the only votes that often matter come from fellow Republicans.

The 2010 elections, in which Republicans won the House majority and gained more than 700 state legislative seats across the nation, gave the party the upper-hand in the process of redistricting.

The advantage helped them design safer partisan districts and maintain their House majority in 2012 — even as they lost the presidential race by about 5 million votes.

So, what’s the path forward?

A splintered group of extremists vs. moderates or stay the same with a shot of staying alive.

Being politicians we expect them to take the road more traveled and play it safe.

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