U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum addresses his Michigan primary night rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 28, 2012.  REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
In 2012, 72 percent of Mitt Romney's support came from opponents of marriage equality, 59 percent came from people who think abortion should illegal, and 43 percent came from evangelical whites. To put it another way, the GOP ain't changing:
“Look, the Republican Party isn’t going to change,” former Sen. Rick Santorum said in an interview. “If we do change, we’ll be the Whig Party.”

Santorum continued: “We’re not the Libertarian Party, we’re the Republican Party.”

It's pretty hard to argue with that: As the numbers make clear, Republicans can't win without the Christian Right. The problem is, they're still having trouble winning. So Republicans should spend more time talking about economic policy and less time on social policy, right?
“If we gave our voters an accurate portrayal of our ideas, that we want to cut the rate of growth on Social Security, give tax cuts to billionaires and then the values issues, the values issues would be more popular than the economic agenda of the current Republican Party,” said [social conservative leader Gary] Bauer, citing particularly those Mass-attending Roman Catholics who have fled the Democrats.

Bauer added, “I would caution the donor wing of the Republican Party that is driving a lot of this: If they think social conservatives are the only thing preventing Republicans from winning, they’ll learn that their economic agenda will go down the tubes along with the Republican Party’s prospects.”

Bauer can whine all he wants about the Koch Brothers' wing of the Republican Party, but Bauer needs Koch every bit as much as Koch needs Bauer. It's just like Rick Santorum said: if the GOP changes, its coalition will disintegrate. But at the same time, the GOP needs to change, because its coalition isn't enough to win.

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