What Happens to the GOP’s Diversity Dream?

After the presidential election of 2012, the Republican Party had a plan. Mitt Romney won over a majority of white voters, but failed miserably at attracting the diverse electorate that increasingly is America. GOP would have to stand for something other than Grand Old Party. The Growth and Opportunity Project was born, with one goal being outreach.

As then Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in stark terms at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2013: “We must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior. … The first step in getting voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them.”

The goals were lofty and judged doable, with Mississippi national committeeman Henry Barbour saying the message should be “the opportunity for people to aspire to reach their dreams whatever that may be.” He touted New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez as the party’s future: “She’s smart; she’s not afraid.”

What happened in 2016? The short answer: Donald Trump.