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THE SECRET OF GOP SUCCESS

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Some commentators have tried to explain GOP success in the recent elections by citing a sudden surge of conservative voters–the same ideologically driven voters who, according to common myth, stayed home and doomed Mitt Romney’s campaign two years ago. But exit polls show 35% of all voters in Mitt Romney’s race in 2012 called themselves conservative – similar to the 37% in the electorate of 2014, and more than the 34% when George W. Bush won in 2004. The biggest segment in each of these races was self-described “moderates” – 40% this year – and GOP candidates in 2014 year cut the Democratic edge among such voters by 7 points. Republicans also did much better among women, young voters, blacks, Latinos, Jews and Asians. Competing for all ideologies and ethnicities, without a strident doctrinaire edge, remains the formula for success in American politics.

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